Bradford is a top target for savvy property investors this year, according to a South East-based property expert who has praised the city’s regeneration.
Ray Withers, chief executive of Oxford-based Property Frontiers, says demand for luxury apartments was growing through people returning to the district.
His company is marketing buy-to-let ‘city living’ apartments in the first phase of the £45 million Aspire Citygate development being built by York-based Skelwith Group at the bottom of Manchester Road.
The development will provide more than 100 apartments by the end of this year.
Mr Withers said: “Bradford offers a good, yet affordable standard of living and its migrating population has made the city one of the UK's top residential property hotspots for 2014.
Residents are attracted by Bradford's cosmopolitan living, coupled with its location in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside.
“House prices in Bradford are, on average, one third less than London and half the price of the South-East.
“However, the growing demand in the area is pushing up prices in the property market, making it an excellent location for capital growth investments.
“Luxury city living apartments such as the new Aspire Citygate, available exclusively through Property Frontiers, are in development to meet the growing demand from people and businesses relocating to the area.
Progress on the Westfield retail scheme, the extensive makeover of the city centre, including Centenary Square and City Park, along with improved transport links and restored historic architecture is pushing up demand for apartments “As we see property prices in London even out, it is to the regions where both capital growth and significant rental income can still be achieved that savvy investors are heading in 2014.
“The new Aspire Citygate development presents one of the most attractive buy-to-let opportunities I have seen for a long time.”
Mr Withers said Bradford's £1.5 billion regeneration masterplan, along with the government-backed £35 million city centre Growth Zone to encourage investment and employment in a defined area, increased its attraction as an investment target.
Other positives included the Airedale digital corridor housing leading electronics businesses such as Pace, Radio Design and Teledyne Defence and BT’s roll-out of superfast broadband to 97 per cent of West Yorkshire homes and businesses by the end of 2015 were an added bonus.
The variety of businesses, the University of Bradford School of Management and the number of corporate HQs, including Morrisons, Yorkshire Building Society, Santander and Hallmark Cards, were also plus points.
Bradford’s financial and business services sector generated more than £13 billion a year and was projected to grow by around 50 per cent by 2022.
The city had the largest UK engineering and manufacturing,employment base with 160,000 jobs and research showed graduate employment was second only to Cambridge.
“A vibrant city with ambitious development plans, Bradford has the third largest economy in the Yorkshire region at £8.3 billion per year and this is projected to grow to more than £9.6 billion by 2016. Bradford is the fifth fastest-growing area outside of London,” said Mr Withers.