Didn’t we have a lovely time the day we went to Bangor... so says a hit song that put Bangor on the map way back in 1980 *. And in many ways, Bangor is a great place for property investors to have a lovely time too. Bangor has a great location, great local amenities and, for its size, a huge student community making it well worth considering for buy-to-let landlords.
Why Invest in Bangor?
Bangor is located in the county of Gwynedd in North Wales. Bangor is right on the coast, on the Menai Strait between the island of Anglesey (Ynys Môn) and the mountains of Snowdonia. It’s often known as ‘the city between the mountains and the sea’.
Bangor is one of the smallest cities in the UK with a population of only around 18,800. It is often referred to as Bangor, Gwynedd to help distinguish it from Bangor, County Down in Northern Ireland and Bangor, Maine, or one of the many other places called Bangor worldwide.
Bangor has a well-connected location. It is right on the A55 Expressway which connects Anglesey to the rest of Wales and UK via the Britannia Bridge. Holyhead on Anglesey, Caernarfon, Conwy and Llandudno are all within easy reach. Bangor railway station has direct train services to Holyhead, Chester, Wrexham, Birmingham, Cardiff and London.
For a small city, Bangor has great amenities. It is the area’s largest service and shopping centre – and is said to have the UK’s longest High Street – with national chains and independent shops. It is also known for its lively social life and cultural scene too and is apparently one of the top ten most cultured cities in the UK.
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Things to do around Bangor include visiting Penrhyn Castle, the Pontio Arts & Innovation Centre and the Storiel Museum. Snowdonia is a big tourist spot for walking and climbing and the area, especially Anglesey, has great beaches.
Bangor’s economy is based around Bangor University. Bangor University (or Prifysgol Bangor in Welsh) has around 10,000 students and the university employs in the region of 2,000 people locally.
Although there are several university halls here buy to let landlords might look at Bangor student lets. Student houses can be found all over the city but the city centre and Upper Bangor, which is close to many of the university buildings, tend to be most popular with students.
The current average asking price for property in Bangor, according to Zoopla figures, is £255,744.
However, Rightmove figures also show that currently, you can buy cheap property in Bangor for as little as £70,000, although maximum prices go up to around £450,000.
House prices across Gwynedd including Bangor have been very buoyant lately. This press report says they rose 7.8% over the last year.
Demand for Bangor buy to lets comes mainly from the local market and the student market.
There’s also holiday letting potential in some of the surrounding villages.
Home.co.uk’s Bangor Market Rent Summary says that the average rent in Bangor is currently £1,237 per month. It suggests landlords in Bangor can earn £542 PCM from a one-bed property, £790 PCM from a two-bed property and £1,023 from a three-bed property. It says four-bed properties in Bangor let for £1,262 PCM on average and five-bed properties for £1,442 PCM on average.
On yields, the Bangor area is covered by the Llandudno LL57 postcode area. Landlord yield across this area is a steady 4.5%.
Property investors wanting to buy to let anywhere in Wales need to know about the Rent Smart Wales scheme. Landlords need to apply and register and take a training course, either in person or online. More details here. You’ll also generally need planning permission and a licence to establish or run an HMO or shared house. Find more information from Gwynedd Council, here.
Property Investment in Bangor
Average House Price: £255,744
North Bangor, around Hirael and Garth, with the very popular Garth Pier and Hirael Bay waterfront, is one of the most scenic parts of Bangor. It offers mainly older property with lots of traditional terraces and townhouses.
Bangor city centre itself is a mainly retail and commercial area but investors will find flats and some traditional terraces. To the north of the city centre and, as the name suggests uphill, is Upper Bangor (Bangor Uchaf). This area is where many of the university buildings are. There are also larger more upmarket Georgian and Edwardian houses here. Some properties have attractive views over to Anglesey. To the east of the city centre, around the Bangor Mountain, is Maesgeirchen. This is a large housing estate which has some of Bangor’s cheapest property.
The south Bangor suburbs stretching out to Glanadda and Penrhosgarnedd offer mainly larger, family-sized properties including detached and semi-detached houses and bungalows with gardens, and a number of medium-sized housing estates.
Just across the Menai Bridge in Anglesey, the small town of Menai Bridge and the village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (which boasts the longest place name in Europe!) are unofficial Bangor suburbs and popular residential spots for those who work in Bangor.
Property investors considering Bangor property might also look at some of the villages outside the city itself, some of which offer opportunities to provide holiday accommodation. Villages in the Bangor area include Y Felinheli which is a popular spot thanks to its boating and yachting harbour. Bethesda fringes Snowdonia and the Zip World attraction (which is the longest zipline in Europe at almost a mile long) is at nearby Penrhyn Quarry.
Property investors interested in the area might also look at Caernarfon. Here’s our guide to The Best Areas of Caernarfon To Invest in Buy to Let.