In recent years Leeds has become a key market for private renters. The UK average for privately rented households is 16.5%, but in Leeds this is 21% as Leeds proves itself a hot-spot for private renters. The population of Leeds is at almost 2 million. That is 80% of the overall population of West Yorkshire. It also has a working age population set to grow faster than the national average.
All of this signifies an excellent opportunity for buy-to-let investors. So, why exactly is the Leeds rental market thriving?
Young professionals aged between 25 and 35 are the largest group that makes up the private rented sector. These are people who are looking for their first home, who want somewhere comfortable yet affordable.
Leeds proves itself a hot-spot for private renters of this demographic. They typically require somewhere with good job prospects, recreational opportunities and a high quality of life. Almost a third of the Leeds population is aged between 20 and 39, many who share these requirements.
Growing job opportunities
The heart of West Yorkshire, cultural, commercial, and financial, is considered to be Leeds. There are over 25,000 businesses in the city with the highest ratio of private to public sector jobs out of all UK cities. There is a 1.9 million-strong workforce, 35% of whom are educated to degree level or above. This is matched by strong and important employers in Leeds, Sky, Google, and HSBC.
Those commuting into London can do so in only 2 hours away by train. Those needing to commute into international markets can go to nearby airports in Manchester and Leeds Bradford.
High student population
With around 38,000 graduates produced by Leeds university alone, and other institutions graduating more every year, the city embraces a thriving student population. It boasts ones of the highest concentrations of universities in Europe. Furthermore, it has 14 further education colleges and nine higher education institutions. These are well respected, in areas such as art, design and music,.
There has been a continued lack of high-quality housing provided by further and higher education institutions. So this has lead to the majority of students choosing to privately rent for the duration of their courses.
Excellent quality of life
Leeds is the 26th best city in the world for quality of life. Especially with a cost of living far below other major cities in the UK, private renters in Leeds are still able to enjoy everything else the city has to offer.
Leeds has a very secure economy. The Leeds City region boasts a GVA of £60.5billion, and during the last global recession the region’s economy grew by 40%. Further investment in the city will see the economy continue to grow and the population increase. Only expected to rise is the demand for private rentals.