It’s great to see Leeds taking its rightful place in the national property press.
Too often, the property market is reported on as if it were one homogenous entity and nothing could be further from the truth. Residential property prices are of most relevance to a city’s resident population and whilst the challenges of living in London, a city of undeniable global significance, are evident and very real, the story across country can be very different.
Leeds is a surprising city, built where the plains meet the mountains and it has an entirely walkable geography. It retains the feel of a small city rather than a sprawling metropolis and yet it is home to over 800,000 people, has the second busiest railway station outside London and has the fastest growing job market of all the provincial cities. It is replete with culture, being the only city outside to have resident theatre opera and ballet companies, it’s ranked 3rd of 180 destinations in the Javelin Venuescore in 2017, it has 2 major universities and over 60,000 students and a dynamic and broad economic base which spans from manufacturing to medi-tech. Oh, and it takes just 20 minutes or so to reach some of the finest countryside the UK has to offer.
You might be fooled into thinking that such a dynamic city would be unaffordable amongst its peers but this is clearly not the case. A quick search of Rightmove (16.7.19) for 3 bed houses at £120,000 or less, shows 84 possible options. Reduce this to two beds, the standard fare of first-time buyers and this shoots up to 110 possible options.
The times (2019) positions Leeds as the 8th most affordable city in the UK
Leeds is also relatively affordable for renters and whilst in London, some tenants are paying away up to 50 per cent of their salary on their rent, a figure of 30% would be more common in Leeds. Although this would suggest that there is some headroom in affordability, it is also relevant that a house purchase in Leeds is much more attainable than it is in the south-east and that many renters here will instinctively limit their rental expenditure as much as practically possible in order that they are able to save for a deposit.