Why invest in Preston?

Preston is the UK’s newest city, located in Lancashire in the north-west of England between the major cities of Manchester and Liverpool and the coastal town of Blackpool. After achieving city status in 2002, Preston has been the target of huge levels of investment and regeneration which have seen its economy boom in recent years. The city is now a hotspot for property investors.

From Preston, you can easily reach both Manchester and Liverpool by road or train in less than an hour. It sits on the River Ribble and is just a short drive from the Forest of Bowland Area of Natural Beauty as well as the Yorkshire Dales National Park to the north. While the city is already well-connected, it is also set to benefit from the planned High Speed 2 (HS2) transport project, which will see line improvements and shorter journey times between Preston and major UK cities.

The way the council has built up wealth and investment within the city and surrounding area has now become known as the Preston Model, often used as an example of how to regenerate an area.

Best city in the north-west

For the third year running, Preston was named the best city to live and work in the north-west in the most recent Good Growth for Cities Index by Demos-PwC for 2019, which analyses categories including jobs, income, transport and work-life balance. It also came in 11th place out of all UK cities.

The city’s improving employment rates, house price to earnings ratio and continued major investments coming to the area all contributed to its high score, and put Preston firmly on the map in the region after Manchester and Liverpool.

Investments improving the area

With a number of major investments underway to improve the area, Preston is said to be on the verge of an economic boom. In particular, the Guild Hall, a 780-seat arena hosting concerts, shows and major sports events, has received a £10m cash injection from the past three years and is now fully operational. Down the road, the Preston Markets have had a £3m revamp, and the next stage of the city centre’s street makeover is about to get underway.

The Guild Hall has also benefited from a new multi-floor attraction called Level, which boasts a bowling alley, crazy golf, an assault course and a restaurant, all of which are creating a real buzz around the city centre.

Competitive house prices

Investors looking for a better value starting point can look to Preston for its competitive house prices, with properties in the city selling for an average £193,057 as of February 2020, according to Zoopla. This is a 2.08% increase on the previous year, which is above the UK average growth rate, and indications suggest the city will see positive future gains.

The north-west as a whole is expected to achieve house price rises of 24% over the next five years, according to global estate agent Savills. It is an ideal place for new investors or homebuyers with less capital, as well as experienced investors looking to diversify some of their funds to a relatively undiscovered emerging market.

Gentrification

Labelled one of the “most gentrified” places in the country, Preston ranked ninth in GoCompare’s latest analysis on gentrification across the UK, proving that the city is firmly on the up. Residents enjoyed a salary increase of 24% between 2010 and 2016, one of the highest in the UK and meaning more disposable income and a better quality of life for many, while the amount of cultural investment per head is now £20.

“Preston has adopted a guerrilla localism. It keeps its money as close to home as possible so that, amid historically drastic cuts, the amount spent locally has gone up. Where other authorities privatise, Preston grows its own businesses.” – Aditya Chakrabortty, senior economics commentator at The Guardian

Available Property Investments

St Petersgate – Stockport Manchester

New Launch - Stockport Manchester, apartments from £160,000

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Assured Rent Housing Association Leases

Assured Rent Housing Association Leases

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Emerging Birmingham Commuter Town With Properties From Just £104,000

The emerging Birmingham commuter town where properties are selling in an average of just 24 days

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South Central – Birmingham City Centre Apartments

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from £205,800

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Ancoats

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HMO Salford

Top UK HMO destination: within the 'golden triangle' in Greater Manchester

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£250,000 - £300,000

HMO properties

Completely hands off and fully managed HMO properties throughout the UK

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The Press

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