Property investment returns highest in university cities in north and Midlands


The top seven university cities offering the most lucrative property investment returns are all located in the north of England or the Midlands.

Property investment opportunities are strongest around UK university cities due to the high rental demand and large numbers of young professionals and graduates, but the latest research indicates that this is most prevalent in cities located in the north of England and the Midlands – making them a key target for property investors.

Investment portal One & Only Pro has revealed the top university towns and cities in England and Wales for property investment. The analysis was based on the percentage of properties with ‘diamond’ investment status that were on the market during the month of June. One & Only Pro considers ‘diamond’ property investments those that receive a top score of 10 from the portal, which means the properties are the most likely to increase in value.

The best property investment opportunities

Newcastle came out on top with 12.8% of properties in the city found to be top investments. The average ‘diamond’ property there costs £96,573.25. Nottingham follows with 11.3% of properties receiving a 10 from the investment portal’s algorithm.

In third place with 6.5%, Leeds has an average ‘diamond’ property price of £103,376.84, and the top 10 properties offer an average yield of 17.87%. As Leeds has a growing rental demand and young population, this Yorkshire city saw the largest growth in rental prices in the first quarter of 2019 and year-on-year.

Sheffield followed with 5.8% of properties receiving a 10 from the portal. It also features the most affordable prices on the list with the average top property investment costing £85,938.70. Then, Manchester came in close behind with 5.6% of properties having ‘diamond’ investment status. The 10 best properties in the city have an average yield of 17.76%. As Manchester is home to a large population of students and graduates, the city centre property market and towns in the greater area, such as Bolton, are expected to see further growth.

Coming in at sixth with 2.9% of properties receiving a score of 10 from One & Only Pro, Birmingham leads the list with the top 10 properties averaging a yield of 22.99%. The UK’s second city is home to five universities and has a high retention rate of graduates, which is boosting Birmingham’s rental market.

Regional cities with large student populations

Through economic and political uncertainty, regional cities in the UK have shown resilience, especially those with thriving student and graduate populations. This often increases demand within the rental market and opens up opportunities for property investors, especially as many young adults prefer city centre living.

With larger populations of students and young professionals, these cities boast room for more property investment whether it’s purpose-built student accommodation, build-to-rent apartment blocks, or other private rental accommodation.

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Property investment returns highest in university cities in north and Midlands


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