The popular press is full of stories about how £200,000, £300,000 or even £400,000 will only buy you a tiny flat in London …. making it unviable for the vast majority of investors. So it’s easy to forget that there are some places in the country where you can buy an entire property for less than £40,000 …. and where £400,000 will buy you a whole portofolio of investment properties.
Sure, some of these cheaper areas have drawbacks but low priced property areas can offer good potential for investors – the letting market is often strong and yields can be high. So in this report we will look at ten of Property Insider’s favourite cheap property investment locations across the north of England.
Barnsley. Right on the M1 and slap bang between Sheffield and Leeds Barnsley makes a great base for both commuting throughout the region and for business relocation. This former mining town is now home to several successful light manufacturing companies and, interestingly, it also has a small but promising creative and digital sector – the Sunday Times has even named Barnsley as one of its ‘creative towns to watch’. The town centre is undergoing regeneration. Barnsley has a lot more going for it than you might think.
Bolton. Bolton was hit hard by the recession, probably accounting at least in part for the low property prices. However, stats reveal that Bolton is responsible for 8% of the economic output of the whole Greater Manchester area, suggesting Bolton is a bigger hitter than you might think. Bolton ranks highly for new business start ups and latest forecasts say 11,000 jobs will be created over the next eight years. There’s a newish university (universities are almost good news for investors) too.
Blackburn. Blackburn has the honour of being pretty much the cheapest town for buying property in England and at Insider we think that’s a good reason to consider rather than overlook it. It’s probably fair to say that Blackburn is one of those former industrial towns that’s unlikely to regain all its former glory. However, the town is ranked highly by Experian for its concentration of start up and high growth businesses, so there’s hope yet. Blackburn is also the main administrative and service area for the whole area, plus it has excellent transport connections too.
Bradford. Let’s be frank now, Bradford’s glorious industrial past is probably long behind it, almost certainly never to be rediscovered. But those who play down Bradford’s prospects as an investment location overlook one important fact – it’s right next door to Leeds – one of the north’s strongest cities economically where the economy is projected to grow fast over the next decade. Property in Leeds will cost you around 50% more than in Bradford and, with prices actually falling here over the last year, now could be a very good time to buy in.
Doncaster. In some ways Doncaster has everything that makes a promising up and coming property investment location – great access by road and rail (and there’s even an airport) plus lots of cheap land for business relocation that should make for a buoyant employment market too. In Insider’s opinion it’s very undervalued and too often overlooked.
Gateshead. Gateshead has a reputation for being the wrong side of the River Tyne. But it has access to the same economy, same employment opportunities (in fact there are lots of employers here) and same facilities as its bigger neighbour Newcastle Upon Tyne. There’s really no reason why property should be much cheaper here, but it is – making it a real opportunity for bargain basement investors.
Hull. It would be wrong to try and disguise the fact that Hull has some of the lowest wage levels and highest unemployment levels in the country. But the worst thing about Hull is its reputation which, in our view, is totally undeserved. (If you don’t believe us, we’d recommend a visit.) Pretty much the only way for the Hull economy is up and, with its new Siemens wind turbine factory it could play an important role in the booming green economy.
Here’s a useful Property Insider article on investing in places like Hull.
Nottingham. So, OK it’s not strictly in the north but here’s why we’re including Nottingham in this report: Do some checking and you’ll find that Nottingham is pretty much the cheapest major city in the UK in which to invest in property. (Though the low average price does disguise the fact that there are also some quite pricey areas here.) Nottingham has a sound economy, lots of large employers, one of the biggest student populations in the country (with one of the most sought after universities) and a buzzing city vibe too.
Rochdale and Oldham. We’re lumping these two towns together because they are, quite literally, next door to each other and very similar in character. Now, make the mistake of seeing Rochdale and Oldham as former textile towns where property prices don’t look particularly cheap and you’re missing the point here. But, see them as suburbs of economically strong and fast growing Manchester (with excellent transport links right into the city centre) and you’ll suddenly realise what good value they are.
Lastly, although cheap property locations have a lot of advantages for property investors there can also be some drawbacks. For balance, take a look at this article: The pros and cons of investing in cheap property.