Bradford is often overlooked in favour of its bigger neighbour Leeds. But Bradford has many of the ingredients that make a promising property investment location. Bradford is a fast expanding city with lots of underexploited potentials… plus some of the lowest property prices in the UK. That makes Bradford a prime spot for property investors looking for cheap property, the hope of future price rises and to make a good rental income in the meantime.
Why Invest in Bradford?
Bradford has a population of 534,000 making it the fifth largest metropolitan authority in England. The local authority says it’s likely to grow to 552,300 over the next 20 years.
Go back a century and Bradford was known as the Wool Capital of the World. Today Bradford is still a hotspot for the manufacturing industry but other big employers include financial and business services, retail, distribution and the public sector. Big Bradford businesses you may have heard of include Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc whose HQ is here, Yorkshire Building Society and Yorkshire Water.
The future looks bright for the Bradford economy. The City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council says the economy here will grow by 25% over the next decade.
Like other northern cities, Bradford suffered from a decline in the past. But it’s seen lots of welcome regeneration in recent years. The City Park’s Mirror Pool, a giant water feature, has given the city centre a unique focal point while The Broadway shopping mall has transformed the retail offering.
Bradford is hoping to be nominated UK City of Culture for 2025 – something that would help to attract more investment and regeneration.
The University of Bradford is small in university terms with around 11,000 students. But it has a global reputation in subjects such as engineering, health studies, life sciences, social studies and management. There’s good demand for student accommodation especially as around 25% of students come from abroad.
According to Unipol popular student property areas in Bradford include the city centre, Clayton, Frizinghall, Great Horton, Heaton, Little Germany and Manningham.
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Bradford has swapped its reputation for wool for a reputation for curry! Bradford has been named Curry Capital of Britain numerous times. There’s more to Bradford than food though: Attractions include the National Science and Media Museum, Alhambra Theatre and St. George’s Hall concert venue. Nearby Haworth is home to the Bronte Parsonage and there’s also the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway steam heritage railway which both attract thousands of visitors.
Bradford has good connectivity to the M62 via the M606 and through to the M1. There are frequent trains to Leeds, Manchester and also London. The plans for Northern Powerhouse Rail could see a new high-speed railway linking Leeds, Bradford, Manchester and Liverpool.
Property Values in Bradford
Bradford is one of the cheaper parts of England for property investment. According to the HM Land Registry, the average house price in Bradford is £136,316.
Look on property portals like Rightmove and Zoopla though and you’ll find you can buy a flat or apartment in Bradford from as little as £15,000. In fact, this Daily Mail article claims that Bradford has some of the cheapest property in the whole country.
Rental Demand in Bradford
Bradford’s low average property prices and strong rents mean good yields for landlords here. In fact, Totally Money put Bradford at number 10 in their The Best Buy-to-Let Areas in Britain league saying BD1 can offer 8% rental yields.
This report from estate agents Benham and Reeves says that Bradford properties offer an average yield of 10.5%.
Would-be Bradford property investors should know about Bradford City Council’s Private Sector Lettings Scheme. The PSLS scheme is designed to boost the supply of houses to let. It will find a tenant for your property free of charge. In some cases, the council will guarantee your rent and even give you a grant to upgrade your property, before renting it out.
This page gives information about any licences you might need to let property in Bradford.
Investment in Bradford
Here are some tips on the different areas of Bradford for property investors:
Average House Price: £60,400
In Bradford city centre investors can choose from older terraces, old and new build apartment blocks and converted period warehouse buildings. There are also student accommodation opportunities.
Bradford city centre low house prices mean that investors could expect at least 8% yield in the BD1 postcode. Just outside the centre Bradford BD3 offers a 6% yield.
Average House Price: £55,000 – £250,000
North Bradford has two quite distinct property markets. Inner-city suburbs like Manningham have some of the city’s cheapest property. Outer suburbs are some of Bradford’s more expensive districts: The separate small towns of Shipley and Bingley have their own shopping centres and local amenities while Saltaire and Baildon are upmarket residential spots in a villagey setting.
In the inner suburbs based on BD8 Manningham investors could receive a 5% yield. Further out in BD17, covering Shipley and Baildon, 4% would be more likely.
Average House Price: £110,000 – £120,000
Like much of suburban Bradford, east Bradford offers a wide range of investment opportunities including traditional terraces and estates of both private and social housing. One advantage of east Bradford suburbs like Fagley, Thornbury, Laisterdyke, Greengates, Apperley Bridge, Ravenscliffe and Bowling is that they offer commuters, workers and shoppers easy access into Leeds as well as into Bradford.
East Bradford suburbs, based on BD4 and BD10, should offer at least 4% yield.
Average House Price: £134,00 – £150,000
South Bradford suburbs offer good access to the M606 and M62 for those who need to travel for work plus employment opportunities at the Euroway Trading Estate. Suburbs in this part of Bradford include West Bowling, Dudley Hill, Bierley, Wibsey, Odsal, Buttershaw, Low Moor and Wyke.
BD5 and BD6 areas should offer around a 4% yield.
Average House Price: £110,00 – £170,000
West Bradford reaches out from the city centre onto the fringes of the West Yorkshire moors. Suburbs here include Little Horton, Great Horton, Lidget Green, Clayton, Heaton and Allerton. Inner-city suburbs here offer low-priced terraced property while the districts further out are mid-priced residential suburbs.
Yields here, based on BD13 and BD14, are around 4%.
About Our Data
Note. Population estimates are based on ward population information provided by Localstats. Current pricing levels are asking prices taken from Zoopla. Buy-to-let yields by postcode are taken from Totally Money Buy-to-Let Rental Yield Map 2018/2019.