The Property Ombudsman

First time investors: where to buy your first property

As we continue our series of posts on first time investors, this week we look at the locations which frequently rank as the top hotspots for those looking to invest.  

When undertaking initial research for a buy to let purchase, it quickly becomes apparent how important it is to choose the right area to buy. Many first time investors are fast to make the assumption that buying a property near to their own home will be the best course of action. While it may seem like a straight forward enough conclusion, location should be based on so much more than its initial proximity to your home. Rental demand and returns/yields are two of the most important factors with buy to let, and there is no guarantee that you will find both of these in a property on your doorstep.

Areas in high demand from tenants are often found either in main city centres or large town’s which benefit from good transport links and are in close proximity to business hubs and universities - this ensures a steady number of young professionals, graduates and students in the area. As well as this, you’ll need to keep affordability in mind with certain locations; for example London may seem ideal, but high property prices result in low yields, which won’t appeal to the modern day investor looking for high returns.

We’ve narrowed down some of the current buy to let hotspots in the UK where it might be best to consider an investment.

1)      Manchester

Always one to top the “buy to let hotspot” lists throughout the year, Manchester is easily a firm favourite for investors. With average yields across the city of around 7.9%, they easily pass the test for a worthwhile investment – and it’s not just the city centre where properties are getting snapped up. Areas such as Salford Quays, West Didsbury, Miles Platting, New Islington and Stockport are just some of the areas outside the heart of the city that grab the attention of buy to let investors all over the UK, this is due to their increasing popularity and the ease of commuting to Manchester and other surrounding areas. Arguably, it has the perfect balance of affordability, high yields and rental demand.

2)      Liverpool

In terms of regeneration, Liverpool has seen a heavy amount over the last few years which has vastly improved its landscape and economy. The likes of Liverpool One, Albert Dock and the Baltic Triangle have all seen vast amounts of government and private investment; this in turn has resulted in a large increase in employment opportunities and property demand. With a high amount of the student population choosing to stay on in Liverpool for work after university, landlords can take advantage of the demand and accompanying rental yields. Even across the water, The Wirral and Birkenhead are also becoming hotspots of their own due to large-scale projects such as Peel’s Wirral Waters project – there has been a large rise in the number of enquiries for these areas in particular.

3)      Sheffield

Another favourite for students, Sheffield has recently become a front runner as one of the best property hotspots in the North. While the city itself may not be the largest in the region, there’s no doubt of the tenant demand that exists here. With two major universities right in the heart of the city, it’s a hotbed of graduates and post-graduates looking for a combination of quality rental properties and employment opportunities once they’ve finished their studies. Plus, with it only recently emerging as one of the upcoming buy to let hotspots, house prices in the area still remain relatively low so buying now results in investors obtaining a real bargain property.

This is just a few of the several investment hotspots throughout the North West. Our team have years of experience in dealing with buy to let investments and can help to guide first time investors with a new property purchase. We specialise in helping investors, whether they be novice or experienced, in finding the best property to help meet their own financial needs. If you’re a first time investor looking for more information on buy to let, call us on 0800 011 2277. 

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