The North West of England is the UK’s outstanding buy to let property market. The region’s cities enjoy growing populations, booming economies and huge amounts of public and private investment which are transforming them into global, 21st century destinations.
While the likes of Manchester and Liverpool are at the forefront of this charge, the neighbouring city of Preston is considered the next big thing by developers and property investors. Consequently, it might well be the most exciting up and coming property hotspot in the UK.
But what makes it so attractive to businesses and young professionals? First and foremost, Preston has now been named the best city in the North West to live and work for the second year in a row by Demos-PwC – putting it above its more well-known nearby competitors like Manchester.
With this in mind, it’s no surprise that Preston is an unusually young. More than one third (36%) of the city’s population is under the age of 25 – a huge pool of potential renters which should turn the heads of any buy to let investors looking for their next purchase.
This large cohort of young people is drawn to the city by the high quality jobs on offer. Preston is in a superb business-friendly location which is easily accessible by road, rail and air. This is an ideal condition for growing businesses and established multinational giants.
Due to this, there is incredible competition for the best luxury rental homes in the city. Rents are growing at almost double the national average according to recent Zoopla statistics, and it is anticipated that house prices in the region will grow by 25% in the next five years – making this the ideal time to invest in Preston and make the most of the upcoming capital appreciation.
Preston stands out from the crowd in so many ways already, but it is this focus on the future that makes it a truly special opportunity and an up and coming property hotspot.
There is a huge amount of public and private investment underway which will continue pushing Preston’s momentum forward in the coming years. The £434m Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal has been described as a “landmark agreement” by the City Council and will create more than 20,000 jobs in Preston. Furthermore, local transport links will be improved to aid residents and businesses, and it is projected that the final economic benefit of this scheme to Preston will be more than £1bn annually.
Getting to Preston is set to become even easier thanks to the upcoming HS2 high speed rail line. Journey times to Manchester, Birmingham and London will be slashed upon completion, opening up Preston even further to continued business growth.
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN), a renowned centre for education and research, is central to Preston’s community and one of the city’s largest employers. It provides a steady stream of highly trained graduates who are perfect for the many businesses who call Preston home, including giants such as BAE.
The UCLAN Masterplan is a £200m investment scheme that will transform the campus into a world-class education facility. Plans for a fully-integrated city centre campus will enhance the learning experience for current and future students and staff, and contribute to the city’s reputation as a place to live, study and visit.
Finally, the Stoneygate Masterplan is a 15-year regeneration scheme which will transform the city centre by creating a brand new neighbourhood in a key strategic location. This new “urban village” will give Preston one of the most attractive city centres in the UK and is sure to become the city’s most in demand new area. Long term thinking like this defines Preston and ensures that the city is set for success far into the future.
Preston is a city on the up, with a young population looking for the best luxury accommodation in the city centre. With a growing economy and extensive plans for the future, this is the perfect time to invest in Preston – one of the UK’s most important up and coming property markets.