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Best Cities to Invest in Property in the UK 2024 [Expert’s Guide]

For those looking to invest their money in property, we take a look at some of the best cities to invest in property in the UK 2024. 

It’s no secret that house prices have been on the rise all over the UK. The United Kingdom’s property market is a tapestry of diversity, offering a wide array of investment opportunities across its length and breadth. From the historic streets of Edinburgh to the bustling business hubs of London and Manchester, each region presents its unique prospects and challenges.

A well-chosen location can safeguard investments against market fluctuations, ensuring steady demand and enhancing the asset’s value over time. Conversely, even the most luxurious property can underperform if situated in an area with weak economic growth or declining demand.

Here’s a list of best cities to invest in property in the UK.

1. Bristol 

Bristol’s property market is officially soaring. Figures showed a 19% house price rise from the 2020 peak of £336,410, signalling strong demand. The main reason for Bristol’s hot property market is limited stock which is keeping prices high. This year’s boost is part of a longer-term trend which has seen prices for property in the area around Bristol achieve around 8% annual growth. 

Today, first-time buyers are spending 11% more than they were a year ago. The average price of a property in Bristol is currently £400,520. 

Areas Poised for Appreciation

  • Temple Meads and St. Philips: The regeneration of the area around Temple Meads train station, including the planned Bristol University Temple Quarter Campus, is set to transform this part of the city into a vibrant new district with commercial, residential, and educational spaces.
  • Southville and Bedminster: Just south of the city center, these areas are popular with young professionals and families, drawn by the Victorian terraced houses, independent shops, and proximity to the city center. Ongoing improvements and the community vibe contribute to their growth potential.
  • Clifton and Redland: These more affluent areas offer a mix of Georgian and Victorian properties, appealing to professionals and families looking for higher-end housing. While the entry price might be higher, the long-term appreciation potential is significant due to the desirability and stable demand.
  • Filton and Bradley Stoke: Driven by the aerospace industry and the presence of major employers like Airbus and Rolls-Royce, these areas to the north of Bristol offer investment opportunities, particularly in family homes and properties suitable for professionals.

2. Leeds 

House prices in Leeds rapidly increased during the pandemic due to an undersupply of houses and desire for more space and rural living. Over the last year, the average price of a property in Leeds was £266,958 and properties sold for an extra 10% on the previous year. 

Properties to buy in Temple Newsham saw prices increase at a faster rate than anywhere else in the Leeds area, with the average home selling for around £266,189 up 13% based on the previous year. 

Leeds is one of the best UK cities for property investing in 2023 because it remains relatively affordable, properties in Leeds are still 27.67% cheaper than the UK average. At the same time, a growing population and increasing rental demand means that investors can get solid returns by investing in Leeds. If you’re thinking of buying an investment property, Leeds can be a great place to do so. 

Areas Poised for Appreciation

  • South Bank and Holbeck: Part of one of the largest regeneration projects in Europe, the South Bank area, incorporating the historic district of Holbeck, is set to double the size of Leeds city center. This area is transforming into a hub for living, working, and entertainment, promising significant capital growth potential as new residential, commercial, and leisure developments come to fruition.
  • Kirkstall: With its appealing blend of urban convenience and scenic riverside settings, Kirkstall is attracting attention for its regeneration potential. The area benefits from excellent transport links, the expansive Kirkstall Forge development, and affordable property prices compared to the city center, making it a strong candidate for appreciation.
  • Headingley: Popular with students and young professionals due to its proximity to several universities and vibrant nightlife, Headingley offers a steady rental demand. The area’s mix of leisure facilities, green spaces, and diverse housing stock, combined with ongoing investments in local infrastructure, positions Headingley as an attractive option for investors.
  • Hunslet and Beeston: These areas are experiencing regeneration and increased interest from investors due to their proximity to the city center and more affordable housing options. With planned developments and improvements in local amenities, Hunslet and Beeston are areas to watch for future appreciation.

3. Birmingham 

One of the fastest-growing cities in the UK, Birmingham has regularly been dubbed one of the best UK cities for property investors, a fact that remains in 2023. Rents across this year are expected to rise by over 12% and last year landlords in the BD1 area saw average rents increase by close to 7% due to a drop in supply. 

The Commonwealth Games placed an international spotlight on Birmingham and further boosted the city’s appeal. Investment in the Games is putting many improvements in the city in motion, attracting a growing population and growing rental market – the Games brought £778m investment into the city and region. 

Birmingham continues to be a key city for students, young professionals and families and thanks to a broad appeal the housing and rental market is expected to remain healthy. In the next four years rents are expected to rise by over 10%. The average rent is currently £1,638 and average yields of close to 7%. Birmingham’s average property price is £264,264, meaning there are plenty of opportunities to get your hands on a high yielding property. 

Areas Poised for Appreciation

  • Digbeth: Often referred to as Birmingham’s creative quarter, Digbeth is undergoing significant transformation. The area is set to benefit from the HS2 high-speed rail project and the Smithfield Birmingham development, promising to revitalize the market, retail, and residential spaces. Digbeth’s growing appeal to young professionals and creatives suggests robust investment potential.
  • Jewellery Quarter: Renowned for its artisan heritage and unique character, the Jewellery Quarter is experiencing a renaissance as a desirable place to live. With a blend of new developments and refurbished historic buildings offering residential, commercial, and leisure spaces, the area’s property values are on the rise.
  • Edgbaston: Known for its affluent demographic and picturesque settings, Edgbaston is witnessing increased demand for high-end residential properties. The area’s proximity to the city center, combined with local development plans, makes it a lucrative option for investors seeking properties in a more premium segment.
  • Perry Barr: Set to benefit from the legacy of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Perry Barr is undergoing extensive regeneration, including new residential developments and improvements to transport and community facilities. This investment in the area’s infrastructure is likely to enhance its appeal and drive property values upward.

4. Manchester 

Manchester offers a thriving rental market and affordable property market and soaring rental demand, making it one of the best UK cities for property investors. Properties in Manchester sold for an average price of £284,276 over the last year, which was an increase of 2% over the previous year. 

With house prices shooting up all across the country, Manchester property prices saw an increase of 19% in some areas. Rents in the city centre have the highest demand with young professionals keen to find accommodation close to their work. The average rent in the city centre is close to £1,613 and average yields are around 7%. 

Areas Poised for Appreciation:

  • Salford Quays: Home to MediaCityUK, this area has undergone significant transformation into a leading digital and media hub, attracting major corporations like the BBC and ITV. The demand for modern living spaces here is high among professionals working in the media industry.
  • Ancoats: Once the heart of Manchester’s industrial revolution, Ancoats has been revitalized into one of the city’s most trendy neighborhoods. It’s known for its independent food scene, artisan coffee shops, and contemporary apartments, appealing strongly to young professionals and creatives.
  • Northern Quarter: Celebrated for its bohemian vibe, the Northern Quarter is a magnet for those attracted to its eclectic mix of music venues, vintage stores, and street art. Investment in residential properties here taps into a vibrant rental market.
  • Castlefield: Known for its canals and Roman fort heritage, Castlefield is a peaceful enclave close to the city center. Its blend of modern developments and historical buildings provides a unique living experience, making it a premium investment choice.

5. Liverpool 

Another city regularly hitting the best city in UK for property investors in 2024 lists is Liverpool. Average property prices in Liverpool are currently £219,235, an increase of 7% over the last 12 months. 

Liverpool postcodes have some of the highest performing rental yields in the country. The L1 postcode is one of the most sought-after places to live and has delivered yields of 8.1% annually, while L7 tops the list with an average yield of around 10%. Property price growth through to 2025 is expected to be similar to Manchester, increasing around 28%. While capital growth prospects are behind those of Manchester and Birmingham, they are still expected to reach around 16% over the next 5 years, making Liverpool of the best cities for property investors. 

Areas Poised for Appreciation:

  • The Baltic Triangle: Once an industrial zone, the Baltic Triangle area has transformed into a lively creative and digital hub, attracting young professionals and artists. Investment in residential developments here is likely to benefit from the area’s growing popularity and cultural cachet.
  • Liverpool City Centre: The city center remains a prime location for investment, with ongoing regeneration projects and a wealth of amenities drawing residents. Properties in this area are in high demand due to their proximity to employment opportunities, retail, and entertainment options.
  • The Knowledge Quarter: Home to several of Liverpool’s universities and research institutions, the Knowledge Quarter is experiencing significant investment in both educational facilities and residential developments. Properties in this area are likely to be sought after by both students and academic professionals.
  • Anfield and Everton: With the regeneration around Anfield Stadium and the planned development of Everton’s new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, these neighboring areas are expected to see increased demand and improved infrastructure, making them interesting prospects for investors.

6. Glasgow

Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, has emerged as a compelling destination for property investors, driven by its vibrant economy, rich cultural scene, and strategic regeneration efforts. The city offers a unique combination of affordability, robust rental demand, and significant growth potential, making it an attractive option for both novice and seasoned investors.

Home to prestigious institutions such as the University of Glasgow, Glasgow Caledonian University, and the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow boasts a large student population. This demographic is a key driver of demand for rental properties, offering investors a steady market with consistent demand.

Compared to other major UK cities, Glasgow offers more affordable property prices, providing a lower barrier to entry for investors. This affordability, coupled with the potential for solid rental yields, makes Glasgow particularly appealing to those looking to maximize their investment’s value.

Glasgow has undergone significant regeneration in recent years, with more projects on the horizon. Developments like the Clyde Waterfront regeneration and the transformation of the Barras Market area are revitalizing the city, enhancing its appeal to residents and investors alike. These efforts not only improve the city’s infrastructure and amenities but also contribute to property value appreciation.

Areas Poised for Appreciation

  • The West End: Known for its Victorian architecture, trendy cafes, and proximity to the University of Glasgow, the West End remains one of Glasgow’s most desirable areas. It continues to attract both professionals and students, driving demand for both rental and residential properties.
  • Southside: With more affordable housing compared to the West End, Glasgow’s Southside is becoming increasingly popular among young professionals and families. Areas like Shawlands are in the midst of regeneration, promising enhanced amenities and community spaces.
  • Finnieston: Once an industrial area, Finnieston has transformed into a cultural and culinary hotspot, situated between the West End and the city center. Its rise in popularity, driven by an influx of restaurants, bars, and art spaces, makes it a promising area for property investment.
  • Merchant City: As a historic part of Glasgow that has seen extensive redevelopment, Merchant City boasts a blend of old and new, with modern apartments set among historic buildings. Its central location and vibrant lifestyle appeal make it a sought-after area for young professionals.

7. Sheffield

Sheffield, often heralded as the Steel City, is gradually carving out a reputation as an overlooked gem in the UK property market. Its unique blend of industrial heritage and green spaces, combined with a robust education sector and ambitious citywide regeneration plans, positions Sheffield as an attractive locale for property investors. 

Sheffield is home to two major universities, the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University, which together attract over 60,000 students from across the globe. This significant student population creates a continuous demand for rental accommodation, particularly in areas close to university campuses and city center amenities. Student accommodation has proven to be a resilient investment sector, offering stable rental yields even in fluctuating economic conditions.

Compared to other major UK cities, Sheffield offers more affordable property prices, providing an accessible entry point for investors. This affordability is particularly appealing for first-time investors or those looking to expand their portfolios without the hefty price tag associated with larger cities. Despite its affordability, Sheffield boasts a high quality of life, with ample green spaces and a vibrant cultural scene, enhancing its desirability as a place to live and invest.

Sheffield is undergoing significant regeneration, with projects like the Heart of the City II scheme, which aims to transform the city center with new retail, office, and residential spaces. Additionally, the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) showcases Sheffield’s role in cutting-edge manufacturing and engineering, attracting businesses and boosting employment. These developments not only improve the city’s infrastructure but also promise to enhance property values in the surrounding areas.

Investors should pay close attention to several key areas within Sheffield that show high potential for appreciation:

  • Kelham Island: Once an industrial quarter, Kelham Island has transformed into one of Sheffield’s most fashionable districts, known for its award-winning pubs, cafes, and a growing number of residential developments.
  • City Center: With ongoing regeneration projects, the city center is becoming increasingly attractive for residential investment, offering proximity to employment hubs and amenities.
  • Ecclesall Road: Popular among students and young professionals, properties in this area benefit from strong rental demand due to its vibrant nightlife, eateries, and proximity to university campuses.

Criteria for Selecting Top Investment Cities

Selecting the top cities for property investment in the UK requires a comprehensive analysis of various factors that can influence the success of your investment. Understanding these criteria helps investors make informed decisions, aligning their investments with cities that offer the best potential for returns. 

Here are the key factors considered when selecting top investment cities:

Rental Yield

Rental yield is a critical measure, representing the annual rental income as a percentage of the property’s purchase price. High rental yields suggest that a property can generate significant income relative to its cost, making cities with higher average rental yields more attractive to investors focused on generating steady cash flow.

Capital Growth Potential

Capital growth, or the appreciation in property value over time, is a primary goal for many investors. Cities with strong capital growth potential are those experiencing economic growth, infrastructural development, and increasing demand for housing. These factors can drive up property prices, offering investors substantial returns on their initial investment when they decide to sell.

Economic Stability

The economic health of a city directly impacts its property market. Cities with diverse and growing economies typically provide more stable investment opportunities. Factors such as employment rates, the presence of major companies, and investment in public services and infrastructure contribute to economic stability and, consequently, a robust property market.

Demand for Housing

High demand for housing, driven by factors such as population growth, the influx of students, or a booming job market, ensures that rental properties remain occupied, and resale values stay strong. Cities with a consistent or growing demand for housing are more likely to offer successful investment opportunities, as they present less risk of vacancy and declining property values.

Supply Constraints

Limited housing supply in the face of growing demand can lead to price increases, making cities with supply constraints potentially lucrative for property investment. Factors contributing to supply constraints include geographical limitations, strict planning regulations, and the pace of new construction.

Future Development Plans

Cities with ambitious future development plans, such as new transportation links, commercial hubs, or cultural attractions, are likely to see an increase in property values in and around the development areas. Investors should consider the long-term impact of these plans on property demand and prices.

Lifestyle and Amenities

The availability of lifestyle amenities such as parks, shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions can enhance a city’s desirability, attracting residents and boosting property demand. Cities that offer a high quality of life are often more resilient to economic downturns and can provide sustained demand for housing.

For those seeking to capitalize on the opportunities within the UK’s promising cities, Aspen Woolf stands ready to assist. Our team of experienced real estate professionals is dedicated to helping you navigate the complexities of property investment, from selecting the right location to understanding the financial nuances of each potential investment. With our deep market knowledge and commitment to personalized service, we can help you unlock the potential of your investment and achieve your financial objectives.

To find out more about where to invest in property in 2024 or if you’re wondering how to invest in UK property, get in touch with our expert team.

We have a range of investment options available in Northern England.