The UK property industry has seen a marked improvement in recent months with the buyer’s market in particular benefitting from increased security. It will of course be interesting to see moving forwards, whether the £250 million package to help first time buyers announced by the government in the recent Budget will drive the sector further in the right direction.
One aspect of the industry which has remained strong throughout the recession is the rental market. Morgans Estate Agent, Leeds tell us that here in Leeds the rental offering over the past five years has been dominated by a range of city centre apartments and flats. Although building of these properties slowed to a standstill for some time, there is now evidence of limited but considered development including the new Indigo Blu Building. Situated at the junction of Crown Point Road and Hunslet Lane, this development features 46 one and two bedroom apartments alongside office space.
Although we are unlikely to see too many more major apartment builds over the next five years, it is possible that developers will seek to take advantage of lower land prices to increase the offering of other types of properties in the city such as family homes. Existing city centre developments are also likely to continue to enjoy high occupancy rates. Recent research by Leeds University conducted in conjunction with six of the cities’ major property agents found that 92 per cent of this type of accommodation are currently occupied, emphasising the consistent demand for city living in the region.
The existing range of flats and apartments within city centre location spans smaller compact living space designed to meet the budgets of young professionals, right through to spacious luxury apartments. However, it is anticipated that any future developments of this type will be less influenced by the rental market as we move toward more owner occupiers. In addition to domestic renting, the city centre also remains a popular site for retail and leisure investment. This popularity is likely to be boosted further when the 1980s style enterprise zones announced in Chancellor Osborne’s budget are brought into force. Leeds is one of the first wave of cities expected to benefit from the scheme which will give businesses breaks from rate paying and hopefully attract even more investment into a well-loved area.