The Best Places to Invest in Property in the UK
Have you been saving money for a rainy day? Maybe you’ve been diligently budgeting with the goal of a dream house of your own already in mind? Either way, if you have a deposit-sized nest egg sitting in a savings account, now could be the time for you to invest in property.
Getting a deposit together is the difficult part (especially in London, where so many renters find it hard to save.) Realising the benefits of owning property over renting will be the easy part. You’ll have the security of knowing you’ve made one of the safest long-term investments for your money, as housing markets have steadily risen over the last 40 years. Then there’s the independence and freedom of making changes to your home, whether it’s just to be able to decorate with something other than the magnolia paint of every rented property you’ve ever lived in, or to make big updates and renovations to add some serious value.
Here’s Movehub’s list of the best places to invest in property across the UK, keeping you ahead of the curve of the country’s property market and (almost!) guaranteeing you great financial results for the future:
The UK’s most south-westerly county has bags of natural beauty with coastlines and countryside that draw in the tourists every summer. You could enjoy the benefits of Cornwall well beyond the summer season by purchasing a home in this area. Compared to the rest of the UK, Cornwall still has relatively cheap property prices, the average house costing around £250,000, and prices have been rising at about 5% year on year since 2005.
The warmer climate and slower pace of life in the pretty villages and towns, both by the sea and inland, attract a large retired population. But with more and more people’s working lives becoming less tied to traditional office routines, the lifestyle, low cost of living and opportunity to invest is bringing families and young people to the area as well.
House prices have been growing rapidly in Manchester - about 8.5% yearly. Yet a semi-detached property in the city has an average price of around £190,250, a small price to pay, some may say, for living in one of the UK’s most vibrant and modern urban centres.
Manchester is known for great sporting, music and entertainment venues, a hip student population, legendary nightlife, great shopping and locals full of warmth and Northern charm. You’ll be able to explore the walks and views of the Peak District National Park in under an hour too, if you’re looking for a change of pace from the urban hustle and bustle.
England’s second city is going from strength to strength. With every development of a different area of the city centre, and with every smart new restaurant or bar opening, Birmingham is shedding its old, grey reputation at quite a rate.
Unsurprisingly, this upward trend is mirrored in the property market, with the city seeing growth of 9.65% in the last 12 months, and there doesn’t seem to be any signs of losing pace. The reassuring constant of Birmingham’s thriving main university has always provided a steady stream of sharp graduates, as well as local jobs. Now, a new wave of businesses are entering the job market buoyed by the promise of speedy rail links to London with HS2. Investing is a modern flat in the city centre, or a family home in the leafy suburbs is looking to be a smart move in the Midlands.
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Ever since the announcement of Crossrail in London, talk of house prices in the areas along the route has been feverish, and Reading is no exception. Prices rose by 15% from 2015 to 2016, but there’s still time to make a shrewd investment in the area and see the benefits of the new transport link, which doesn’t open until December 2019.
Reading has a well-respected university and many graduates choose to stay in the area as they can scout for a vast amount of potential jobs both in the capital and along the M4 corridor. The city centre has everything you’d need, and will no doubt see some positive developments in the next few years, like so many of the areas looking forward to welcoming the new Elizabeth line.
Richmond, North Yorkshire
The market town of Richmond is loved by locals and tourists alike for its beautiful setting and proximity to the Yorkshire Dales National Park. On first look, this Yorkshire town might not seem like somewhere to focus your property search if you’re looking to make a canny investment, but developments at Catterick Garrison, just 3 miles down the road will decidedly convince you otherwise. It’s the largest British Army garrison in the world - the current population totalling 13,000, is set to grow to 25,000 by 2020. This is thanks to an exciting set of development plans costing around £25 million, that will see a new ‘town centre’ for the area with shops, restaurants, a cinema and hotel, bringing new vibrancy, and of course hundred of new jobs.
Elephant and Castle
One of the very few London areas in Zone 1 where property is just within reach for those ready and willing to do battle with the capital’s tough market.
The love-it or hate-it landmarks of Elephant & Castle, the imposing shopping centre on the roundabout, the labyrinthine pedestrian subways, are on their way out to make room for new business, retail and leisure spaces on an impressive scale. There’s £1.5 billion worth of investment in starter homes alone, from new tower blocks with far-reaching views, to smaller, sleek developments like the new 15-home block, ‘The Metropolis’. This area really is great from anyone looking to invest in new London property, if the average yearly increase of 5% is anything to go by.
Surrey is popular with London commuters. There are countless towns that have seen their property prices rise over the years as renting Londoners, disillusioned and priced out of the capital, prowl the Home Counties for more affordable, spacious homes to lay down roots.
Woking is only 30 minutes by train to London Waterloo, so it’s a great option for moving to the commuter belt, especially for families. The council has plans to pour £250 million into a huge regeneration project for the central square very close to the station, bringing hundred of new flats, shops, a hotel and modern public plazas, bring new vibrancy to the area and making the transition from central London almost seamless!