Leeds is, to use an overused phrase, most certainly a ‘city on the up’, but equally, it’s now difficult to remember a time when that wasn’t the case.
Smart investment, a vast legal and financial sector, ideal transport links, superb educational establishments and affordable housing have all contributed to the continued success of the city. However, despite flying under the radar for some time, Leeds reputation has begun to finally catch up with it.
The latest Hometrack UK Cities House Price Index reveals that the North of England is seeing house prices outpace those in London, and that includes Leeds.
Their index tracks 20 cities and found a range of 7.1% and -5.7% in house price change, year on year. Topping that table is Edinburgh and Manchester, but Leeds wasn’t far behind, with an average value change of 4.4% to £162,900.
That’s a figure that makes the average house in Leeds worth around a third of the London average. It’s a shocking statistic which highlights the distortion in the housing market in and around London.
It’s good news for existing homeowners in Leeds, but it makes for disquieting reading for the legions of young people looking to get on the housing ladder.
Speaking on the Hometrack release, Fabian Hamilton, MP for Leeds North East said the north was in the “most significant housing crisis” since the financial crash.
He added: “The North continues to be underfunded in housing and transport, while the capital is constantly put first.
“By failing to properly fund local authorities and build the social housing this county so desperately needs, it is no wonder that homelessness levels are unprecedented and first-time buyers are being put off.”
Nevertheless, rising house prices haven’t been enough to stop Leeds being named the best location for graduates to live in for the second year running.
The accolade comes from property website The House Shop, who looked at factors including annual income, utilities, rental prices, disposable income and – naturally – the price of a pint, in their decision making.
Their survey found that the average wage for a graduate in Leeds was £26,062, which, after bills means that the average graduate has £1,054 in disposable income a month, with the average monthly rent for a two-bed property at £750pcm.
Combined with the excellent city centre, nightlife, job prospects and property availability, it makes for a compelling option for the recently graduated – especially if you’re looking to get on the property ladder.
The Property Shop found that the average two-bedroom house costs £155,703, meaning that it would take less than two years to save up for a 10% deposit. Oh, and a pint of beer is around £2.60 – result, if you can find one at that price.
Nick Marr, co-founder of TheHouseShop.com, commented: “It is not surprising to see Leeds dominate the table for the second year running.
“Especially since the property market in Leeds is set to boom over the next five years, now is the perfect time to invest in this cultural, exciting and thriving city.”
He also noted that landlords can purchase a two-bed property in Leeds for around £155,703 and gain a yearly rental income of £9,000; obtaining a 5.78 per cent yield, something which will raise many eyebrows amongst the enterprising.
Mr Marr said: “Leeds is a great city to invest in Buy-to-Let properties. Graduates are known to secure stable, professional and well-paying jobs – making them great tenants in many instances.”