7 Reasons to Invest in Property in Luton and Where to Buy
Luton is a town on London’s commuter belt boasting excellent road and rail links, the fifth busiest airport in the UK, great schools and an increasingly vibrant business environment.
With incoming investment over the past decade, people are beginning to think differently about Luton. Ideal for those looking for a London commuter property outside of the capital, the town is currently the most popular destination for first-time buyers in the UK and is steadily catching the eye of property investors looking for decent capital gains with a lower entry point.
Read on to find out why investing in Luton property is increasingly appealing, and the areas of the town that investors might want to consider.
1. Why Invest in Property in
Luton? Economic Potential
In 2016, Luton launched the Luton Investment Framework (LIF), a 20-year plan for the city’s transformation. So far, the LIF is on-track to secure a total of £4.5 billion for the local economy, improving the town by creating sustainable growth and making Luton a vibrant place to work and live. At the same time, Luton has an extensive catchment area with 23 million people based within 2 hours, and with its proximity to the capital, it is fast becoming a business hub for enterprises in a variety of fields.
In recent years, the city has caught the eye of first-time buyers looking to get onto the property ladder. With houses prices at a fraction of the cost of the capital, while still just 23 minutes by train to central London, Luton is an attractive destination for property investors looking to expand their portfolio, too.
2. Luton’s Growth and Strategic
Location is Great for Businesses
Capitalising on the opportunity and growing popularity with commuters, over the years a number of business and technology hubs have sprung up in Luton. Butterfield Technology Park is an 85-acre parkland and the site of business and technology companies. The park sits alongside the city’s Innovation Centre and Business Base, which houses over 100 small business units, and another business centre, Capability Green, continues to attract high quality tenants and investors thanks to its unrivalled accessibility and communication links by air, rail and road.
Luton has long been home to diverse industries. Synonymous with vehicle manufacturing and high-precision engineering, many British and international firms in high-technology sectors including engineering, defence, pharmaceuticals and automotive call Luton home.
As well as the likes of Vauxhall Motors, Astra Zeneca, Ernst and Young, TUI Travel, easyJet and Monarch Group having a home in Luton, the town is a pioneer in aviation-related tech and industry. London Luton Airport is one of the UK’s fastest-growing airports and one of Europe’s top five private aviation centres. A number of high-value aviation-focused tech, supply chain and engineering companies are making new markets for growth and sustainable supply chain investment.
With businesses and growth comes robust property prices, and as Luton continues to appeal to a wide range of enterprises, its property market becomes more appealing.
3. Luton’s Housing Market
is Increasingly Popular
How does Luton rank in terms of a property investment destination? Luton is one of the most sought after areas of the UK for buy-to-let investors with more setting their sights on the commuter town. Luton is also the UK’s most popular destination for first-time buyers.
With London’s sky-high property prices, many first-time buyers are looking further afield. Commuters can save an average of £483,342 by commuting up to an hour each day rather than renting property in the UK capital. Like other areas around an hour’s journey from London by train – including Basingstoke, Gravesend, Windsor and Northampton – Luton offers the advantage of quick access to London alongside quieter and more budget-friendly living and plenty of open space on the doorstep. But while the former locations have average house prices of around £325,091, Luton’s are the most affordable at £261,725.
Over the last five years, Luton has witnessed 30% property price growth, making it ideal for investors looking for capital gains with a lower entry point. As the UK’s top first-time-buyer hotspot, investors have a strong market of potential buyers and can expect good levels of return. In the last 12 months from October 2019 to October 2020, housing prices rose by 3%, despite the ongoing Coronavirus making for an uncertain housing market.
4. Rental Demand in
Luton is on the Rise
Another aspect adding to Luton’s appeal for property investors is the fact that the city is suffering from a housing shortage. The city is currently building around 430 new homes a year and needs to build 1,417 to meet demand . Over the long-term this is good news for buy-to-let investors as it indicates sustained tenant demand which is likely to result in increasing housing prices and rents and yields.
In terms of its rental market, Luton enjoys an average rent price of £632 per month for a one-bedroom apartment and £828 for a two-bed, according to Zoopla. This is significantly less than equivalent homes in London.
Strong capital growth potential, decent rents, high rental demand and affordable property prices, alongside its strategic location make Luton a city with outstanding potential for property investors.
5. Luton has a Steady
Student Rental Market
Home to the University of Bedfordshire, Luton’s student rental market presents property investors with potential for strong returns. The university has a large campus in the centre of town and offers nearly 450 undergraduate and postgraduate courses to approximately 3,200 undergraduate, 1,700 postgraduate and 120 postgraduate research students coming from over 120 countries.
The university is feeling the benefit of the town’s wider regeneration and received
£46 million investment in a state-of-the-art library and a £37 million STEM building which opened in 2019. Luton currently suffers from a student accommodation gap, and students are increasingly seeking quality private accommodation that can meet their needs. Luton’s student demographic makes investing in student rental property an appealing prospect.
6. Inbound Investment Makes Luton
Increasingly Attractive to Property Investors
Over the past decade Luton has undergone transformation and external investment continues to provide a boost to the town.
The city’s Cultural Quarter, located near the main railway station, is being improved through a £3.9 million upgrade creating studios, art venues and theatre space. A 70-acre commercial area, New Century Park, is set to deliver 4,000 jobs and in Marsh Farm, a £25 million shopping centre is in the pipeline alongside regeneration work underway at the former Vauxhall car plant. Bartlett square is another development set to bring in 2,000 jobs while across the city mixed-use development schemes have been given the green light.
7. Luton’s Strategic
Location Can’t be Beat
Just off the M1, close to the M25 and 30-miles from London, Luton boasts great transport links. With its proximity to London and the South-East, Luton has the potential to become a town that offers all the advantages of proximity to the capital with the advantages of affordable land, housing values, commercial rents and living costs.
London Luton Airport is one of the town’s best assets, connecting passengers and businesses to Europe and further afield. To leverage its potential, airport expansion plans recently saw the annual number of passengers increase from 10 million to 18 million.
Which Areas of Luton Should
Property Investors Consider?
Life in Luton means easy access to the best that London has to offer, but without the high housing price tag. But which areas of Luton should property investors pay most attention to?
LU1 is a key area for property investors and in the last year properties in the area had an average price of £295,255 – a 4% increase on the previous year. The centre of town boasts superb transport links, with the capital just 24 minutes away and national rail connections to Leeds, Sheffield and a direct service to Gatwick and Brighton. LU1 is also home to the University of Bedfordshire and presents investors with opportunities to target the student rental market. Shared student properties featuring a garden are in high demand from students.
Properties in the LU2 area had an overall average price of £296,075 over the last year. LU2 is the site of Luton Airport, one of the UK’s busiest airports and one of area’s main employers. London Luton Airport is one of the capital’s five main airports and the UK’s fifth busiest serving destinations across the UK and Europe.
North Luton is a green and leafy area of the town including Lower Sundon, Streatley and Sundon. Housing tends to be semi-detached from the 1920s and 1930s, making the area ideal for families. Properties in LU3 had an overall average price of £277,08.
Luton’s LU4 area covers the west of the city, including Chalton and London Farm. The area is home to a number of listed buildings and borders the M1. Properties in LU4 had an overall average price of £257,205 over the last year.
Investing in property in Luton means capitalising on the opportunities of a commuter town. With effortless connections to London and property prices of around half of those in the capital, it’s not hard to see why Luton is becoming increasingly popular with investors and first-time buyers. To find out more about property investment opportunities in Luton and where to buy, get in touch with us to today.