7 Reasons to Invest in Property in Bradford and Where to Buy
Property investors looking to the North might naturally be drawn to bigger cities like Leeds and Manchester. However, presenting growth potential, relatively cheap property, high tenant demand and strong yields, Bradford is an up-and-coming destination property investors shouldn’t ignore.
In close proximity to the Northern Powerhouse Cities, plenty of money being pumped into the city in terms of investment and home to the youngest population in the UK, there are plenty of reasons Bradford should be on your property investment radar. This ambitious Northern city is one to watch and a good place to get in early to reap the benefits as the city grows.
Here are our top 7 reasons to invest in property in Bradford and the areas of the city that look most promising to buy-to-let investors.
1. Positive Economic Growth Attracts
Real Estate Investors to Bradford
Strong economic growth is usually a promising indicator of rising real estate prices and rents.
Currently, Bradford’s economy is worth over £9.5bn, making it the eighth largest in England and the third-largest in the Yorkshire region after Leeds and Sheffield. Bradford contributes to around 15.4% of the total growth within the Leeds City Region. Investing in a property in Bradford is a great way to capitalise on the growth of the city’s economy, which is set to increase around 25% in the next decade.
In addition to a strong economy, Bradford has a population of more than 531,000 making it the 4th largest metropolitan authority in England. Dedicated to investing in its people, the city has a plan to get 20,000 more people into work and improve the skills of 48,000 residents, meaning there’s plenty of potential for buy-to-let investments.
2. Bradford is Home
to Diverse Businesses
Property investors looking to add to their portfolio should consider Bradford because of its strong business growth which signals that real estate is likely to appreciate.
There are 17,620 businesses employing 198,600 people in the Bradford District and the city accounts for around 15% of the total employment in the Leeds City Region.
Businesses based in Bradford range from small startups to nationally recognised brands such as Morrisons, Gratton, Provident Financial, Hallmark Cards, Yorkshire Building Society and Jet2. Bradford-based companies employ over 250,000 people across the UK with a combined turnover of more than £30 billion.
One of the city’s greatest assets is its young population. 23.7% of the Bradford population is aged under 16 compared with 18.8% nationally, making Bradford the youngest city in the UK. Looking ahead, this population is set to increase by more than 10% over the next 20 years, to 582,900 from 530,000 today. Not only is this young population likely to spur innovation and entrepreneurship, it’s also a key demographic for the rental market, which makes Bradford a favourable location for buy-to-let investors.
3. Bradford has Attractive Property
Prices and Strong Rental Yields
Property prices in Bradford remain relatively cheap compared to other Northern cities like Leeds and Manchester, making the city affordable and attractive for first-time investors or those looking to expand and diversify their portfolio. The average price for property in Bradford stood at £133,580 in November 2020 and prices are steadily growing at around 4% on the previous year.
Inventors should also consider the benefits of Bradford’s strategic location within the Northern Powerhouse – the UK Government’s vision for a super-connected, globally competitive northern economy. Just 10 miles from Leeds and supported by an efficient rail, road and air system, as people become priced out of the surrounding bigger cities Bradford is likely to become an attractive option for commuters.
Bradford’s low average property prices and strong rental market mean good yields for landlords. Bradford was named in the top 10 best buy-to-let areas in the UK, and some properties in the BD1 area can offer between 8 – 10% rental yields. Bradford Council’s Private Sector Lettings Scheme offers landlords a free tenant finder service helping them match their properties to people looking for accommodation in the private rented sector across the district.
Another reason why Bradford is a sought after area to live is the quality of its schools. 20 schools were graded ‘outstanding’ at their last Ofsted assessment and 23 private schools, including the much sought-after Bradford Grammar, make the city attractive to families.
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4. Regeneration and Investment
Projects are Transforming Bradford
The last decade has seen every area of Bradford transformed by investment into the economy, public spaces, infrastructure and the residential and retail sector. In the last few years, total investment in regeneration and infrastructure projects hit around £1 billion.
Regeneration projects such as the Broadway Shopping Centre, a £260 million investment that opened in 2015, bring residents great lifestyle offerings with over 90 shops and eateries. The City Centre Growth Zone has benefitted from £35 million of investment to support businesses and so far has supported 160 companies to create 625 new jobs stimulating £15 million of capital investment in the city and bringing 47 vacant properties into use.
HS2 project – a state-of-the-art, high-speed line – will mean one of the key Northern Powerhouse cities, Manchester will be just 20 minutes away via train. With Leeds just 15 minutes away, Bradford is perfectly positioned to take advantage of cheaper house prices while reaping the benefits of the bigger cities in the region. The HS2 initiative is predicted to boost Bradford’s economy by £15 billion by 2069, and the knock-on effect on house prices will be significant.
5. Bradford’s Student Population
Oggers a Stable Rental Market
Bradford’s large and growing young population makes it home to the workforce of the future. Students most often rent apartments in Bradford. This automatically means that a significant student population at the University of Bradford – 7,435 undergraduates and 2,225 graduate students – represents a secure rental market for buying investors.
6. Bradford is a Melting Pot for
Lifestyle and Culture Offerings
Bradford was the first-ever UNESCO City of Film and continues to be a backdrop for many films and TV shows. Building upon this claim to fame, the city annually hosts the Bradford International Film Festival and is home to the National Media Museum.
Those with an appreciation of nature will find Bradford has a strong appeal due to its close proximity to the Yorkshire Dales and attractions like Bolton Abbey. The city is also home to buildings of historical significance from its time as a successful textile town during the industrial revolution, including many listed and Victorian or Gregorian houses in the city centre.
Diverse in people, nationalities and ethnicities, a rich mix of cultures make Bradford home to some of the UK’s finest Asian food. World-class and award-winning curry houses are abundant in Bradford and the city regularly wins the title of the UK’s Curry Capital.
7. Best Areas to Invest in
Property in Bradford
One of the best places to buy property in Bradford is about a 10-minute walk from the university or near the city centre. Bradford’s BD1 postcode is popular with students and young professionals looking to enjoy city living and was consequently shown to be delivering yields of up to 10% – the third-best in the UK.
The district of Little Germany in the city centre is an area of historical and architectural interest and was recently listed as a top 10 buy-to-let hotspot. The area includes 55 listed buildings due to their historical and architectural significance and is Bradford’s busiest commercial area housing over 110 businesses and organisations and 3000 workers.
The average value of property prices in the BD1 area currently stands at £61,866. The majority of sales in the past year were flats.
Located in the inner-city suburbs, Manningham has some of Bradford’s cheapest property. It’s home to a wealth of industrial history, including mill buildings, wool merchants’ houses and back-to-back terraced houses. Many of the old mill buildings are being converted into luxury flats and the much sought-after Bradford Grammar School is located on the northern fringe of the suburb.
Last year, properties in Manningham had an overall average price of £80,708.
The suburbs in east Bradford are a popular location for those commuting to Leeds. Areas like Thornbury, Laisterdyke, Greengates, Apperley Bridge and Ravenscliffe offer easy access into Leeds as well as the centre of Bradford.
Ravenscliffe is predominantly home to semi-detached properties which in the last year sold for an average price of £231,263. Properties in Thornbury had an overall average price of £91,701 over the last year.
Ideally located in close proximity to the M606 and M62, properties in the southern suburbs of Bradford are ideal for commuters. Areas such as West Bowling, Wibsey and Low Moor offer a range of properties, including flats, and semi-detached and semi-detached houses.
Properties in West Bowling had an overall average price of £72,059 over the last year.
Properties in Low Moor had an overall average price of £131,122 over the last year.
With affordable property prices, a young population and buildings of historical significance, Bradford is an up-and-coming property investment area set to reap the benefits of the growth and development of the Northern Powerhouse. To find out more about investing in property in Bradford, get in touch with us today.