Areas of Somerset: Buy-to-Let Property Investment Hotspots
When investing in property it’s never a good idea to believe stereotypes. Somerset has a reputation as a quiet, rural county where everybody drinks cider. But Somerset has several busy commercial centres – plus it borders the booming city of Bristol too – so, Somerset offers more buy to let investment opportunities than you might think.
Why Invest in Somerset?
Somerset is known for its rolling hills including the Blackdown Hills, Mendip Hills, Quantock Hills and Exmoor and a large, flat plain known as the Somerset Levels. Somerset is part of what is often known as the West Country.
The largest settlement in Somerset is the City of Bath. The county town of Somerset is Taunton, however. Bath, Bridgwater, Taunton and Yeovil are the main commercial centres in the county and provide many jobs.
Many parts of Somerset have great access to the M5 motorway and other major routes including the A303, A37, A39 and A361 plus good rail services to Bath, Bristol, Exeter, London and elsewhere. Some parts of Somerset are within the Bristol commuter area too. The more accessible areas of Somerset tend to have more jobs and so more demand for buy to lets.
Bristol Airport is located in North Somerset and is the largest airport in the south west of England.
Access our selection of exclusive, high-yielding, off-market property deals and a personal consultant to guide you through your options.
The main industries and employers in Somerset are services, public services, light manufacturing, agriculture and tourism.
Some parts of Somerset have a tourist economy. Bath is one of the UK’s busiest tourist cities. Other popular Somerset tourist locations include Cheddar Gorge, Minehead and Weston super Mare. Somerset is also world-famous for the Glastonbury Festival which is held at Pilton.
Part of Somerset is administered by Somerset County Council together with Mendip Council, Sedgemoor Council, Somerset West & Taunton Council and South Somerset Council. North Somerset Council and Bath and North East Somerset Council are separate unitary authorities. You can find out which local authority covers any property investment you are considering, here.
Property Values in Somerset
Somerset house prices overall are above the England national average. The average house price paid in Somerset is currently around £293,000 according to Zoopla.
There are cheap property investments in Somerset, however. You can invest in property in Somerset for as little as £40,000, according to Zoopla's listings.
The most expensive area for property prices in Somerset is Bath. The cheapest places to invest in property in Somerset include Weston Super Mare, Bridgwater, Burnham on Sea and Yeovil.
According to the Financial Times, demand for property in Somerset’s market towns is booming, as Londoners look to move there from the city.
Rental Demand in Somerset
Somerset offers buy-to-let landlords opportunities to let to the local market and those coming to work in the area.
There are opportunities for student accommodation investors in Somerset but they are limited to Bath. The University of Bath and Bath Spa University have around 22,000 students in total in the Bath area.
Some areas of Somerset also have a holiday accommodation market too.
The best yields in Somerset are in the region of 4-5% according to property xyz.
Investment in Somerset
Here’s our guide to property investment in the main towns of Somerset.
Population: 90,000 approximately
Average House Price: £483,162
Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is famous for its Roman origins and architecture from the Georgian and Regency periods. Bath is one of the country’s main tourist cities with around 6.25 million visits per year to attractions including the Pump Room, Roman Baths, Bath Abbey and Royal Crescent.
Bath has a strong economy. It offers well-paid jobs in software, publishing and tech. Bristol and Bath are among the strongest FinTech ecosystems in the UK.
Bath is a prosperous city with high demand for accommodation but a low supply. As a result, property prices and rents in the Bath and North East Somerset area are some of the highest in Somerset.
Here’s more information on the buy-to-let property market in Bath.
Population: 41,500 approximately
Average House Price: £260,319
Bridgwater is a market town and the main retail and service centre for this part of Somerset. Bridgwater benefits from great access around Somerset via the M5 motorway and has direct trains to Bristol, Taunton Cardiff, Exeter and elsewhere.
Bridgwater is also one of Somerset’s main commercial towns. Industries in Bridgwater include light manufacturing and distribution and these provide many jobs and support the demand for accommodation in the town. Express Park is one of Somerset’s main business parks and soft drink manufacturer Gerber Juice Company/Refresco is one of the town’s main employers.
A new 3,200 MWe nuclear power station is being built at Hinkley Point west of Bridgwater. Hinkley Point is one of Europe’s biggest construction projects.
Data provided by the Home.co.uk Market-Rent Summary shows the average rent in Bridgwater to be, currently, £756 PCM. Gross average rental yields in Bridgwater are around 4.3% according to property xyz.
Population: 19,500 approximately
Average House Price: £269,760
Burnham-on-Sea is a coastal town around halfway between Bridgwater and Weston super Mare and in the Sedgemoor district. Burnham has good access to the M5 at junction 22 and to Bristol. Burnham on Sea and nearby Highbridge is a tourist town and a popular, quiet residential spot.
Figures provided by the Home.co.uk Market Rent Summary show that the average rent in Burnham-on-Sea is currently £679 PCM. Gross average rental yields in Burnham are around 3.9%, according to property xyz.
Population: 21,500 approximately
Average House Price: £383,848
Clevedon is a coastal town in North Somerset. Clevedon is known for its seafront and Victorian pier which attract many visitors in the season. Clevedon has a range of local employers but it is also popular with those who commute to Bristol.
Population: 26,500 approximately
Average House Price: £349,151
Frome is a market town in east Somerset close to the border with Wiltshire and close to Wiltshire towns like Trowbridge and Warminster. Frome is more correctly pronounced as ‘Froom’.
Frome has its own local employers in light manufacturing and services. It is also a residential town for those who work around the area. Frome has direct rail services to Bristol, Bath, London Waterloo and elsewhere.
Frome has recently been named as the best place to live in the south west of England by The Sunday Times.
Population: 16,800 approximately
Average House Price: £358,476
Keynsham is located between Bristol and Bath and is in the Bath and North East Somerset local authority area.
Keynsham is a market town with local shops and lots of green space but it has expanded fast over the years and is now sometimes regarded as a Bristol suburb.
Keynsham has good road and rail access to Bristol (10 minutes by rail) and Bath (10 minutes by rail) and many other local places making it an attractive place to live for those who work in these cities.
Figures provided by the Home.co.uk Market Rent Summary show that average rents in Keynsham are some of the highest in Somerset at around £1,199 PCM. Gross average rental yields in Keynsham are around 3.3% according to property xyz.
Population: 15,500 approximately
Average House Price: £371,488
Nailsea is a small town around 8 miles to the south west of Bristol. Nailsea has great access by road to Bristol and the M5, train services from Nailsea and Backwell railway station and is also close to Bristol Airport.
Nailsea has its own local employers proving many jobs at several business parks, including oil field services company Baker Hughes. Nailsea is also a convenient place to live for those who work in nearby Bristol.
Population: 24,900 approximately
Average House Price: £394,901
Portishead is a one-time commercial town and port, although the port has been redeveloped to provide a marina in recent years. Portishead is 5 miles west of Bristol on the Severn Estuary. It has direct access to the M5 at junction 19 and to Bristol via the A369.
There are a number of key employers in Portishead including Avon Fire and Rescue Service and Avon and Somerset Police. Portishead is also a popular commuter town for those who work in Bristol.
Figures provided by the Home.co.uk Market Rent Summary show that the average rent in Portishead is currently £992 PCM. Gross average rental yields in Portishead are around 3.4%, according to property xyz.
Population: 61,000 approximately
Average House Price: £321,737
Taunton is one of Somerset’s largest towns and is the main retail and service centre for this part of Somerset. Taunton has the fastest growing population in Somerset.
Taunton is known for cider but is a commercial and working town with several key industries and employers which provide many jobs and support the demand for accommodation here. The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) employs around 900 people in Taunton. Other significant employers in the area include Western Provident Association, Viridor, Reylon, KDC/One (Swallowfield) and VPK (RIGID).
Taunton has good access to the M5 at junction 25. Taunton railway station has services to Bristol, Exeter, London Paddington (100 minutes), elsewhere in the West Country, the Midlands and north.
Taunton is also popular with those who work in the Exeter area. Exeter can be reached in 30 minutes by the M5 or 20 minutes by train from Taunton.
Statistics provided by the Home.co.uk Market Rent Summary show that the average rent in Taunton is currently £809 PCM. Gross average rental yields in Taunton are around 3.8% according to property xyz.
Population: 12,000 approximately
Average House Price: £363,996
Wells is a small cathedral city around 21 miles to the south of Bristol. Wells is in a rural location but it is within convenient travel and commuting distance to Bristol and Bath and other local towns.
Wells and the surrounding area is a popular tourist spot in the season. Places to visit include Wells Cathedral, the Bishop’s Palace, Vicar’s Close medieval street and Wells Museum while Wells is also known for its cultural events and festivals. Nearby are Wookey Hole caves and Cheddar Gorge.
Here's more information on the buy-to-let property market in Wells.
Population: 76,500 approximately
Average House Price: £261,557
Weston-super-Mare is a seaside town on the North Somerset coast and on the Bristol Channel. Weston-super-Mare is normally known as Weston for short. It is known for its traditional seaside attractions including its sandy beach and the Grand Pier which attract many visitors, especially during the summer season.
Weston has good access to the motorway network via the M5 junction 21 and direct train services to places including Bristol, Exeter and London Paddington.
Weston super Mare is one of the cheapest large towns in which to buy property in Somerset and is a good value property location.
Figures provided by the Home.co.uk Market Rent Summary show that the average rent in Weston-super-Mare is currently £824 PCM. Gross average rental yields in Weston are around 4.2%, according to property xyz.
Population: 45,500 approximately
Average House Price: £269,016
Yeovil is in south Somerset closer to the border with Dorset. It is the main retail and service centre for south Somerset.
Although Yeovil is in a very rural part of Somerset it is an important centre for the UK aerospace and defence manufacturing industry. Significant companies located in Yeovil include Leonardo Helicopters where 2,800 people work, BAE Systems and Honeywell Normalair Garrett Ltd. RNAS Yeovilton is also nearby and provides many jobs.
Yeovil railway station has direct services to Exeter and London Paddington amongst other destinations.