Property Investment in Bradford – A Guide by Aspen Woolf
A young and vibrant city, read on to find out why you should take a closer look at property investment in Bradford.
Thanks to its blend of West Yorkshire countryside and urban city living, Bradford is a hidden gem in the North of England. While in the past, de-industrialisation took a hefty toll, Bradford now has one of the strongest economies in the region with an exciting up-and-coming property market.
While it may not be the first city that springs to mind for property investors, there are plenty of new developments in Bradford currently underway. The city was recently named UK City of Culture 2025, which is driving investment and cultural and economic growth.
Part of The West Yorkshire Built-up Area (previously known as the West Yorkshire Urban area), Bradford boasts excellent transport links. Its proximity to the Northern Powerhouse Cities, especially Leeds, make it a commuter hotspot that’s growing in popularity as a growing commuter population seeks accommodation and affordable living spaces.
1. Property Investment in Bradford can Generate a Great ROI
The affordability of property in Bradford, coupled with strong rental yields and ongoing regeneration, make it an attractive option for investors considering a buy-to-let property in the North of England.
Property in Bradford is generally more affordable compared to other areas in the North. According to Rightmove, the average price of a property in Bradford over the last year was £190,191. This is significantly lower than the average price in cities like Manchester and Leeds, which are £285,493 and £263,332, respectively.
In terms of rental yields, Bradford property investment performs well. In some areas, rental yields achieved more than 8%, making it a highly profitable destination for investors.
The city has seen a flurry of inward investment in recent years, which has led to an increase in demand for rental properties. This, coupled with the relatively low property prices, presents an opportunity for investors to capitalise on a growing market and potentially see strong capital appreciation in the long term as well as well-performing rental yields.
2. Bradford Presents a Unique Property Investment Opportunity
According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), which uses data from the HM Land Registry, the average property price in England is £289,818. The latest figures show a 6.3% increase in house prices over the last year alone.
Are house prices rising in Bradford? The latest data from the government department reveals that in December 2022 average house prices in Bradford reached £190,191, up 8% on the previous year. This means that, comparatively, Bradford’s home prices are rising faster than the national average.
When it comes to property investment in Bradford, data from Home.co.uk shows the average rent for properties in Bradford is currently £775 per calendar month (PCM), with around 348 total properties for rent. This is up from £616 pcm at the same time last year with around 204 properties on the market.
With two major universities, the University of Bradford and Bradford College, the city has a large student population. This creates a strong demand for student accommodation, particularly for purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) or HMO (houses in multiple occupation) properties.
In addition to the student market, Bradford also has a diverse population, with a large number of families and professionals looking for suitable rental properties. This is another factor making a Bradford investment property an appealing prospect and presents opportunities for investors to cater to different segments of the rental market and potentially achieve high occupancy rates and rental yields
3. Bradford has a Growing Economy
Bradford is one of the largest cities in the Yorkshire and Humber region. Its economy is diverse, with significant contributions from various sectors such as manufacturing, finance, retail and healthcare.
According to the most up-to-date figures, Bradford’s economy is worth £11 billion, making it one of the largest economies in the region. Just behind Leeds and Sheffield. In terms of Gross Value Added (GVA) – the value of goods and services produced by an area’s economy – Bradford’s GVA should be around £7.6 billion in 2019. Its economy is forecast to grow by approximately 25% over the next decade, according to figures from the local authority.
A number of well-known companies call Bradford home, including Morrisons, Yorkshire Water and Provident Financial. The city is also a major centre for textile manufacturing and has a strong retail sector thanks to ongoing Bradford investments. The latest figures show that there are over 16,000 enterprises in Bradford employing around 250,000 people.
Bradford’s proximity to Leeds is also a strong asset in terms of delivering economic advantages to its residents. Having a thriving economy close by means residents in Bradford have a wider range of job opportunities within commuting distance.
Bradford is considered a great place to start a business in the UK and some of its strongest sectors include the following:
- Advanced engineering
- Automotive components
- Food manufacture
- Financial services
- Digital technologies
In a bid to make Bradford the fastest-growing economy in the UK, the city is focusing on development across four key areas as part of the Bradford District Economic Strategy.
- Improving connectivity both via transport infrastructure and digital connectivity.
- Attracting investment using cultural and historical assets.
- Skills and education development, particularly for young people.
- Driving business innovation and productivity.
4. Bradford has a Young and Fast-Growing Population
Bradford’s population is one of the fastest growing in the UK. On a steady increase, its 2023 population stands at 375,018. By 2030, the population of Bradford should reach 565,000.
One of the most interesting things about Bradford’s population is that it has one of the youngest communities in the UK after London. A growing and young population presents a good demographic for investors, as they tend to be in the market for rental property.
The University of Bradford currently has a student population of around 14,000, meaning there is strong potential for student accommodation investment in Bradford. Student investment property Bradford can deliver higher rental yields than residential property, has continuous demand and can be managed by a specialised property rental company, taking out much of the hassle for investors.
For every demographic, affordability is always the number one concern. Particularly in the current economic climate. Bradford is currently one of the most affordable cities in the UK. This makes it enticing for young professionals, families and students as they launch their lives and careers.
5. Investment is Revitalising Bradford City Centre
Bradford’s future plans will be particularly attractive to property investors. Regeneration plans include improving the city’s infrastructure and continuing the development plans in the city centre.
Significant funds have already been invested in Bradford to boost its economy. More than £500 million went into improving the city centre, with a further £200 million dispersed among the wider regional district.
Invest in Bradford and you’ll benefit from the positive impact the following regeneration projects will have on the city:
City of Culture 2025
Bradford was recently named City of Culture 2025, a title that is set to give the city a major reputation boost. The status as UK City of Culture is likely to further regeneration. Primarily because it attracts visitors and guarantees millions of pounds of funding and investment. For residents, this implies the creation of thousands of new jobs.
Bradford will receive £275,000 in initial seed funding to help it develop plans for 2025 with millions of grants and investments likely to follow.
A landmark residential development, The Printworks is located in the highly sought-after Little Germany area. The historic industrial building was formerly home to Hallmark Cards. It has been converted into a creative and cultural space and the next phase will see the creation of 137 newly built luxurious one and two-bedroom apartments by the end of 2023.
Bradford’s iconic Odeon theatre is being transformed into a 3,800-capacity music venue, set to complete in autumn 2023. The new venue aims to attract new musicians and draw attention to the cultural values of Bradford, serving as an events hub for the City of Culture plans. The project is one of the largest regeneration schemes in the city’s history.
Bradford Council acquired Kirkgate shopping centre for £15.5 million to reshape the city centre. Kirkgate is being replaced with City Village, featuring 1,000 homes and a business hub. This scheme is part of Bradford Council’s 10-year plan to revitalise the area and develop an attractive and vibrant city centre.
One City Park
The £35 million One City Park project will bring a new five-storey Grade A office space to Bradford. An office space which will accommodate 450 new jobs. The project should stimulate growth in the property market, rental demand and prices, as skilled professionals seek high-quality accommodation.
Public Transport Corridor
The multi-million-pound regeneration of Well Street, separating the Broadway Shopping Centre from Little Germany, will introduce a new public transport corridor. The plan aims to improve transport infrastructure. While also facilitating access to the city’s attractions for international tourists. The development will coincide with the City of Culture events taking place throughout the city in 2025.
Is Bradford a Good Place to Invest in Property?
Some experts predict that thanks to ongoing regeneration and the city’s advantageous location, property prices in the city will double over the next five years. And as a result, offer great opportunities to savvy investors. Namely, those seeking strong yields and capital gains in an affordable area.
In terms of regeneration and an up-and-coming housing market, Bradford is in a similar position to where Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool were a few years ago. Meaning now is a great time to be a first mover into the city’s buy-to-let market.
With the Leeds Bradford Airport at a distance of only 6 miles and the Manchester airport merely an hour’s drive away, Bradford truly boasts excellent transport links. All of which consequently add to its appeal. Bradford is also well located between major northern cities. Such as Leeds and Manchester, with easy access to the capital and the rest of the country.
With relatively affordable properties, a strong rental market and increasing property prices, Bradford is an under-the-radar yet advantageous place to invest in property.
Is Bradford Up-and-Coming?
Bradford has undergone significant regeneration and development in recent years. Mainly with numerous ongoing projects that aim to improve its infrastructure, cultural offerings and economic growth.
Its status as the City of Culture will attract significant investment and funding. Additionally, the city is already developing new venues and attractions that can stimulate economic growth in the future and attract more residents.
Bradford’s proximity to the larger and more established city of Leeds provides further opportunities. Especially in terms of growth and development- particularly for investors targeting the young professional market. All these elements suggest that Bradford has the potential to become a more desirable and prosperous city in the future.
Bradford is one of England’s most exciting cultural hubs, with a youthful, enterprising and dynamic population. Underpinned by an entrepreneurial spirit and a strong business ethic, Bradford is set to continue as one of the most exciting property investment hotspots in England. To find out more about property investment in Bradford, get in touch with our experts.