Birmingham offers better value for money than both Brisbane and Brooklyn for property investors, according to research compiled by Investorist. According to recently released data, as well as the growing infrastructure, Birmingham is becoming a more attractive place in terms of off-plan property investment opportunities. Investorist found that compared to other international urban cities such as Brisbane and Brooklyn, Birmingham offered the most value. In Brooklyn for instance, an apartment listed came in at £10,793 per square metre, and thus making it the most expensive of the three cities. Brisbane followed, at £3,976 per square metre, while Birmingham offered a superior deal, at just £3,068 per square metre. "Birmingham offers an excellent investment landscape, from high end retail space to some outstanding residential property developments. "Quite simply, investors can get more for their money by looking at off-plan buy-to-let homes in the UK right now than they can in many destinations around the world. In addition, the city boasts an ever bustling presence of culture and entertainment and nightlife. If you’re looking for something particularly seasonal, the Birmingham Royal Ballet is host to annual festive performances of The Nutcracker from the 25th of November-13th December.
The latest figures back up that view too. "Cardiff is also doing well as a city but properties there are a bit pricier than in Swansea and Newport," adds Mike. Is it time to reduce your costs by remortgaging? Recent figures from Zoopla show that properties in Edinburgh are the fastest selling in the country, taking just 22 days on average to shift. The city’s housing market is buoyant with opportunities, according to the experts, in a number of areas. Malcolm Leslie, Director of Residential Agency at Strutt & Parker says: "In terms of buy-to-let the Edinburgh market has been exceptionally strong over the last two years and a lot of that is driven by Airbnb. "There can be spectacular returns for people investing for that reason. A really good property off the Royal Mile can yield spectacularly. But it’s not just about being close to the main tourist attractions and renting on a short-term basis. "There are new developments going on in the east of the city in the old St James’s Centre," says Malcolm. "That will pull values up in the east end and anywhere accessible to that. "There is also regeneration going on in Haymarket in the west end. Rob Bence says: "Liverpool has seen huge investment over the last few years and there are several major development projects underway that will have a massive impact on the city.
Today, it seems clear that many of the UK’s best buy to let areas are located north of the Midlands. But which towns and cities should you consider? We’ve trawled through house price reports and spoken to local experts around the country, building an authoritative picture of towns and cities that combine affordable prices with healthy scope for capital appreciation. And we’re putting our money where our mouth is too: these are the areas that we’re targeting for our own personal buy to let property investments, and where we’re aiming to acquire development sites. And once you’ve finished digesting this, you can head on over to watch our free video guide on the best places to invest in buy to let property this year. You should know by now that property prices in Manchester city centre have exploded over the last few years.
And it’s not just property: the city has been transformed, and is now one of the most vibrant and exciting places to live in the whole country. The city centre is still a strong place to invest in Property investment in Birmingham now, but it also opens up opportunities in the surrounding areas. This is the same "ripple effect" (which we’ve covered on our Property Podcast) that we’ve seen in London in the past. After the last crash, prime London was the first to recover - and as prices rose, the growth gradually rippled further out until it reached the Home Counties. We believe the same will happen in Manchester - and there are so many areas set to benefit. From Wythenshawe to Stockport to Bolton, there are places to keep your eye on all around Greater Manchester.
Look for places on the tram network for easy commuting into the centre to benefit the most. Of all the areas we’ve identified, Greater Manchester property investment seems like the safest bet for investors in 2019: it’s already moving, but there’s a lot further to go. Liverpool rightly takes one of the top spots in our best places to invest in property, particularly if you’re focused on investing in the North. It’s a city with loads to offer in its own right, and will also benefit from the Manchester ripple effect. Despite massive regeneration of the city centre, prices in many areas haven’t recovered past their 2008 prices - meaning that in real terms, you can buy in at a lower price than you could have done over a decade ago. As a result, yields for investors are strong too.
They vary by area of course, but on the whole yields are higher than in Manchester or Leeds. And there’s more regeneration in Liverpool still to come. The company behind Liverpool Waters is The Peel Group, who are responsible for The Trafford Centre and Salford Quays in Manchester - so their pedigree couldn’t be much higher. Liverpool property meetups are held every month and they’re a great way to discover more about this cracking location. House prices in Leeds haven’t picked up as much as some other areas (most noticeably Manchester) since the last crash. Around 2006 and 2007 there was a construction boom in Leeds, with thousands of new apartments being built. Unfortunately, most were completed around 2008 just as the economy collapsed - so the anticipated demand wasn’t there, and prices collapsed too.
This led to the persistent idea that there’s an over-supply of accommodation in Leeds - so very little has been built since. This was true 10 years ago, but the population of Leeds has grown faster than any city other than Manchester. A fast-growing population (seven times faster than London, in fact) and very little construction means that an over-supply has become an under-supply. So far, pension companies are the only people building at scale in the city - but we believe it won’t be long until other developers and investors catch on. On top of that, there’s over £7 billion of development in the pipeline for Leeds which makes it a great place to invest - including an enormous regeneration project on the South Bank around the future HS2 station.
Sheffield is another contender for the Manchester ripple effect. Of all the cities we’ve looked at so far, it’s probably the furthest behind in the property cycle. This means that prices are low - shockingly low, when you look at what you can buy an apartment for in the city centre. The centre itself has already improved dramatically, and there’s a lot more on the way: The Moor shopping centre alone is having £480 million spent on it, HSBC is opening new offices, and there are two luxury hotels being developed. Is 2019 too early for significant price movement in Sheffield? You’re unlikely to see big gains this year, but it offers the opportunity to buy in at a great price - locking in strong yields, and allowing you to benefit from the growth that we believe is ahead.
Sheffield is a buy to let property investment hotspot to watch! Nottingham is bizarrely missing from the radar of most property investors. When you look at its central location and what it has to offer in terms of employment and leisure, its prices are just too low. The city centre is a great place to live, and - much like Leeds - there has been minimal new construction.