Yorkshire is the county where everything is Big with a capital B – big scenery, big skies, big personalities and big puddings …. Yorkshire puddings of course. But one thing that isn’t big about Yorkshire is the property prices. Yorkshire – including the big cities of Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield and Hull – has some of the lowest house prices in the UK. And low prices mean big potential for property investors looking to invest.
One of the main attractions of investing in Yorkshire, or anywhere in the north for that matter, is cheap property. While the average house price in the UK is £251,233 right now, in Yorkshire and the Humber it is just £ £161,314.
This newspaper report says that one Yorkshire city has some of the cheapest property in the whole country. You can invest here with as little as £13,000.
Yorkshire – or Yorkshire and the Humber as it is known for statistical purposes – is made up of the counties of West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, East Yorkshire and North Yorkshire (England’s biggest county). It has a total population of around 5.3 million, so the Yorkshire property market is as big as the county.
Although Yorkshire is known for its quiet, rural Yorkshire Dales and moors Yorkshire is actually a key industrial and commercial powerhouse too. The Yorkshire economy is worth £110 billion per year – twice the size of Wales and bigger than 11 countries of the European Union.
Yorkshire’s combination of low property prices and strong rents offers property investors big yields. Even the lowest yields in Yorkshire are around 4% and some locations offer up to 10.5%.
Yorkshire is one of the largest student centres in the whole UK. There are around 180,000 students at Yorkshire universities. Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield, Huddersfield, York and Hull all offer opportunities for student property investors.
Yorkshire is not just a cheap property hotspot. It offers great potential for the value of your property investment to rise, longer-term. While many parts of the UK are seeing stagnant houses prices this report says that, according to data from PropCast, just over two-thirds of the Yorkshire region will see house prices rise in the coming months.
This official report from the Office for National Statistics or ONS says that Yorkshire and the Humber was the English region with the highest annual house price growth in the year to July. House prices rose by 3.2%.
Yorkshire offers strong letting demand and good prospects for landlords and investors. This press report says that one in five people in Yorkshire rent a home, and it quotes a local letting expert who says that the continuing imbalance between high demand and low supply means rising rents will be a feature of the Yorkshire property market in future.
This Yorkshire Post report says that rents in Yorkshire rose faster than almost anywhere else last year – by a healthy 2.8%.
Totally Money says that Yorkshire is one of the best buy to let areas for property investors in the entire country. Investors can earn an average 5.9% yield on their money across the board.
A selection of articles on the buy-to-let property investment market in Yorkshire
Here’s our guide to property investment in the main towns and cities of West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and East Yorkshire.
Average House Price: £188,595
Leeds is not only Yorkshire’s biggest city by far it is also now one of the UK’s biggest commercial centres. Major industries here include banking, finance, law, a growing tech and digital sector, plus the creative and media industries. Leeds is also to be Channel 4’s new regional HQ. The city is a regional employment hotspot and the well-paid jobs here support high demand in the Leeds property market.
Leeds is also one of the UK’s biggest student cities, so great for student accommodation landlords. There are 65,000 students overall at Leeds’ five universities.
Property investors could expect a 5-6% yield in many parts of Leeds or up to 7.5% or so for Leeds student property.
Average House Price: £139,364
One-time ‘Wool Capital of The World’ Bradford is still an important city for manufacturing industries. Other big employers in Bradford include financial and business services, retail, distribution and the public sector.
The City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council says the economy here will grow by a full 25% over the next decade. Plus Bradford is hoping to be nominated UK City of Culture for 2025 – something that should help raise Bradford’s profile.
The University of Bradford has 11,000 students so there’s also a student property market.
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. Estate agents Benham and Reeves say that Bradford properties offer an average yield of 10.5%.
Average House Price: £166,916
Sheffield is amongst the fastest growing cities in the country. The population is 575,400 but forecasts say Sheffield is likely to undergo huge population growth to 652,300 by 2039 – very good news for property investors.
Sheffield is famous worldwide as ‘Steel City’ – stainless steel was actually invented in Sheffield. Manufacturing and engineering are still important, and other key industries today include logistics and distribution, health and education, financial, legal and professional services and telecoms. Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) is also helping to bring new industries and more highly paid jobs to Sheffield.
Sheffield is also a major student centre with 60,000 students.
Yields here are up to 7% in the S1 postcode area and 8% in S2.
Average House Price: £117,119
Hull, or Kingston upon Hull to give Hull its correct name, is best known for being a major trading port and fishing port – industries which still exist today. Key Hull industries include manufacturing, ports and logistics, food processing, chemicals, research and development, retail and education. Good news for the economy in Hull is that the city is also becoming a global centre for renewable energy, with the development of the Siemens Gamesa wind turbine factory at Green Port Hull.
The University of Hull has around 16,500 students.
Statistics from Property Data say that Hull can offer excellent rental yields. These can reach an average of 6.8% in HU9 and 7.7% in HU2.
Average House Price: £122,160
The one-time mining town of Barnsley has developed as a centre for light manufacturing, logistics and distribution in recent years thanks to its position right on the M1 motorway and good transport links to Leeds and Sheffield. Barnsley town centre is undergoing a major £178m regeneration to develop it as an attractive hub for retail and leisure. Barnsley is a low property price hotspot, offering many cheap buy-to-let opportunities.
Yields here (based on the Sheffield S70 postcode area) are around 4%.
Average House Price: £138,331
Doncaster is a really well-connected town, being right on the A1(M), M18 and East Coast Mainline Railway. In recent years Doncaster has reinvented its economy and is now a major hub for business and distribution parks – such as Doncaster Railport or Europort, Doncaster Sheffield Airport Business Park, Westmoor Park and iPort. A particularly exciting development is that the new National College for High-Speed Rail has been established in Doncaster.
Doncaster yields are up to 5% or so.
Average House Price: £145,888 (Calderdale area)
Halifax, in the Calderdale Council area, is an industrial town known for its textile and carpet manufacturing. Today it’s a hub for light manufacturing and services and is known for the Halifax Building Society (now Halifax Bank) which was established here. Investors should know that Halifax is West Yorkshire’s cheapest property price location after Bradford.
Yields here (HX1 postcode area) are a healthy 6%.
Average House Price: £292,583
The spa town of Harrogate is known for its famous, One Hundred Acre Stray, Betty’s Café Tea Rooms and the Great Yorkshire Show. Harrogate is one of Yorkshire’s smartest (and more expensive) residential locations. Harrogate is also a base for tourists visiting the Yorkshire Dales while The Harrogate Convention Centre attracts many events and exhibitions. So investors could look at opportunities for short term lets, holiday lets and Airbnb lets as a way of maximising yields.
Yields here (HG1 postcode area) are around 4%.
Average House Price: £153,249 (Kirklees area)
Huddersfield, in the Kirklees Council area, is a one-time centre of Yorkshire’s traditional wool industry. Present-day industries are textiles, chemicals and engineering. Huddersfield is right by the M62 and also about 25 minutes by train from both Leeds and Manchester, so popular with commuters to either of them.
Huddersfield also has its own university, the University of Huddersfield, so it is also good for student property investors.
Yields landlords could expect here are 5% in HD1 and 6% in HD2.
Average House Price: £142,347
Rotherham is an industrial and manufacturing town and still has an important steel industry. It benefits from close proximity to the M1 and M18 motorways and also to Sheffield, to which it has a new tram-train link. Rotherham offers property investors cheap investment property compared to nearby Sheffield.
Yields here (Sheffield S60 postcode area) are around 4%.
Average House Price: £154,249
The City of Wakefield benefits from a strategic position right on the M1 and M62 motorways and the East Coast Mainline Railway, whilst also being 20 minutes from Leeds. Wakefield is known for the Hepworth Wakefield art gallery, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the curiously named Rhubarb Triangle!
Wakefield’s many business and logistics parks provide lots of jobs. The city is also a popular spot for commuters who work in Leeds, with house prices currently being around 20% cheaper than Leeds.
Yields here (WF1 postcode area) are around 4%.
Average House Price: £258,202
The historic City of York is famous for such sights like York Minster, the Shambles, the Jorvik Viking Centre, the National Railway Museum and York Racecourse. As well as being a busy commercial city it also attracts thousands of tourists a year, offering property investors opportunities for short term lets, holiday lets and Airbnb lets.
York is also a university city, so there are student accommodation investments too.
Yields here (YO1 postcode area) are around 5%.
Numbers last updated in Dec 2019
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Harrogate tops the chart for growth with the highest percentage increase in average property price, standing at 3.47%.
Doncaster sits at the bottom with a minor reduction in actual property values of -0.37%, across all property types.
York is at the top of the table when it comes to speed-of-sale, at an average of 70 days, across all property types
Halifax, on the other hand, is a slow market with an average property taking 178 days to sell.
However, Halifax is also showing the greatest year-on-year improvement on speed, performing at 16 days faster, average time-to-sell, compared with a year ago.
Could this be early signs of an improving property market in this area for 2020?
Possibly, but such things are never guaranteed.
- In Bradford, the BD5 postcode district is best at 1.74%
- In Halifax, the HX2 postcode district is best at 5.04%
- In Sheffield, the S6 postcode district is best at 2.84%
- In Hull, the HU6 postcode district is best at 4.14%
- In Doncaster, the DN4 postcode district is best at 1.96%
- In Harrogate, the HG5 postcode district is best at 2.36%
- In Leeds, the LS9 postcode district is best at 3.4%
- In York, the YO1 postcode district is best at 2.63%
- In Bradford, the BD6 postcode district is best at avg. 77 days.
- In Halifax, the HX3 postcode district is best at avg. 83 days.
- In Sheffield, the S7 postcode district is best at avg. 56 days.
- In Hull, the HU4 postcode district is best at avg. 67 days.
- In Doncaster, the DN11 postcode district is best at avg. 78 days.
- In Harrogate, the HG1 postcode district is best at avg. 104 days.
- In Leeds, the LS9 the postcode district is best at avg. 75 days.
- In York, the YO1 the postcode district is best at avg. 67 days.
Showing the largest growth in property prices, across all property types:
- Halifax. The HX2 postcode district is best at 5.04% growth over 2019.
Showing the fastest property sales across all property types:
- Sheffield, The S7 postcode district is best, at only 56 days time-to-sell, on average.
Harrogate looks great, with the largest year-on-year capital growth, however, its high property prices may be off-putting for first-time buyers and investors, alike.
Although Doncaster is sitting lowest for regional growth, it still performs ok, generally, with regard to speed of property sales. 2019 looks like it was a buyers market.
The concern is, however, that in Doncaster we are seeing an increase in the average time taken to sell; the early-warning signs that in 2020 it might become a much flatter market.
York is performing well on all metrics when compared to other areas.
Quick sales show signs of an active property market and prices are steadily increasing across all postcodes.
With the general election settled and general buyer sentiment returning to the UK property market as a whole, these are really good signs for the York property market which was already performing well already in 2019.
Halifax is an anomaly.
In the data, we can see the town showing signs of a slow property market with the largest regional average for time on market and time to achieve a sale.
And yet, the HX2 postcode district has the highest capital growth of 2019 for the whole region, at 5.04% on average across all property types.
Picking exactly the right location in the Halifax area, however, looks to be vitally important in 2020.
Other Halifax postcodes aren't performing quite as well. And if house price growth slows then the long-time-to-sell, typical of the city, could create pain for sellers.
LS9 is showing the best all-round performance in 2019 compared to all other Yorkshire postcode districts.
It has a strong current average, house-price growth of 3.4% and not only a fast property market with sales taking on average only 75 days to sell but this is also an improvement on the previous year (Dec 2018) which was 101 days.
The performance across all metrics makes LS9 the stand-out pick for 2019 and one to watch and consider for 2020.
With an improving trend of fast sales, it's showing to be a seller's market and prices may start to edge up fast.
But it's also showing a healthy average property price of £120,026 making it affordable, to not only homebuyers and investors but also, simply, affordable compared to the other, surrounding, LS postcodes.
Note. Population estimates are based on information provided by Localstats. Current average house prices and property data are from HM Land Registry UK House Price Index figures, as well as Zoopla and Home. Buy to let yields by postcode are taken from the Totally Money Buy-to-Let Yield Map.