Of course, this is for good reason. Historically strong rental markets combined with impressive investment plans and anticipated population growth is a winning formula. City centre investment in renowned markets will continue to be a draw.
However, a hallmark of a resilient portfolio is diversity. If you put all your eggs in similar baskets, you are certain to miss out on some of the best deals. It pays to get off the beaten track and search out the places which share similar characteristics to the biggest markets but have not yet attracted as much attention.
So where do we recommend as an undiscovered gem at this moment in time? The outstanding candidate is Preston.
The third largest city in the North West, and the largest in its county of Lancashire, Preston is located only 40 minutes from Manchester and 50 minutes from Liverpool by direct train, as well as also having direct links to London and Glasgow. In addition, the city sits at the heart of a motorway network which makes it an incredibly attractive place for businesses looking for logistical access to the rest of the UK.
This transportation network is becoming even more of a strength thanks to a £434m investment plan known as the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal which is driving the creation of 20,000 new jobs for the region and the building of a further 17,000 new homes over a 10-year period. This City Deal also includes a £100m fund for other investments and is expected to leverage £2.3bn of commercial investments into other commercial and residential sites. Clearly the future of Preston is bright, and it is no surprise to see more and more businesses either start in the city or move there every year.
And what do businesses find when they arrive in Preston? A young, highly trained workforce which brings innovation and energy to the region. The University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) is based in the city and is home to almost 38,000 students and staff. The world class research done at UCLAN is a huge boost for both the city and the region, and the steady stream of students who remain in the city annually following graduation, almost 37%, provide an invaluable workforce for local businesses in fields as diverse as engineering, manufacturing, digital and creative and logistics.
In combination, these factors mean that the population of Preston is set to increase in the coming years. In turn, house prices are predicted to continue rising following growth of almost 20% in the last five years according to Zoopla figures.
Whilst it might not have the celebrity of Manchester or Liverpool, Preston has just as many attractive qualities and anyone looking to invest in an up-and-coming UK buy to let property hotspot should be looking seriously at the city. It is only a matter of time before Preston becomes one of the UK’s premier buy to let markets and the level of competition for the best investment opportunities increases. This is the perfect time to get ahead of the game in invest in Preston.
The Sorting Office is a stunning refurbishment development close to the city centre, Preston train station, the University of Central Lancashire and all the big shopping centres in Preston. Each apartment is large and includes beautiful character features, making these truly unique homes. Construction is underway and scheduled to finish by the end of 2019 – enquire today for more information about Preston and investing in The Sorting Office.