Preston is another of the North West’s growing investment areas. Property in Preston is often cited as having a high rental yield, a fantastic opportunity for new or experienced landlords to take advantage of an investment opportunity that will pay dividends quicker than property bought elsewhere.
So why are Preston’s property prices increasing? There has been considerable investment in the North West in the last 10 years and as the 3rd largest city in the North West, young professionals are taking advantage of the proximity to Manchester and other areas nearby.
Lifestyle and location
Sitting ideally between the busy hub of Manchester and the Lake District, you’ll find that the location is highly desirable for those who work hard during the week and look for a more picturesque location at the weekends. Rather than being forced to travel for 3+ hours down busy motorways or taking multiple trains, Preston is situated less than an hour drive from Lake Windemere, which is one of the most beautiful areas the UK has to offer. Perhaps even better is a 20-minute train journey from Preston to Oxenholme. The temptation of finishing work on a Friday afternoon and to be tucked up in a cottage on the side of the lake by early evening is something more are desiring.
As part of a train line that stretches from London to Edinburgh, the ability to get across the country seamlessly is also an attractive proposition. In just over 2 hours, you can be in London from Preston on the train. Couple that with transport links to almost every other major UK city – Preston is one of the best-connected places in the UK.
It’s all happening in Preston
There has been a £434 million investment in Preston, expanding and improving the existing infrastructure for transport – while also creating 20,000 new jobs and over 17,000 new homes in the area. The focus hasn’t been one merely hoping for a boom in the area, the activity behind local and national business investment has been to actively push for it to happen, creating an environment where investment and people will flood in, ensuring the long term sustainability of the significant investment.
There has long been a good bar and dining scene with a thriving nightlife – enough to poach even the most discerning of visitors from elsewhere but with continued development, this will just keep getting better and better with new shopping outlets in Miller arcade, shops and a cinema in the Market quarter and a multi-floor attraction called Level which will contain a Bowling Alley, Crazy Golf, Assault Course and a restaurant.
We mentioned previously about Preston Property yields being good – they are in fact north of 8% which is considerably higher than the UK average (5 – 6%) so when you invest in property in Preston, you gain a considerable amount back in rent. There are other areas around Preston too gaining significant investment, so there are a few areas such as Bolton and Wigan that can boast high rental yields above the national average.
When considering buy-to-lets there are often advantages to spreading your investment across multiple properties via mortgage deposits or buying outright with cash (which has its own advantage of a developer discount) so when looking to invest in property, consider all your options available. There is also the additional consideration of finding a reputable letting company that can take the hassle out of managing the tenants once they’re in the property.
Businesses are flocking to Preston
The inclusive economy that has the local Government and NHS procurement departments means that the money generated in the area is invested right back in, meaning that the local businesses are self-sufficient and promotes a thriving environment for other businesses to prosper. This means when businesses come to Preston, they’re often treated like “one of their own” and their products and services will be desired from within as much as from the rest of the UK.
There are multiple large businesses that call Preston home, employing huge numbers from Preston and the surrounding areas. The NHS employs the largest number of employees in its Preston installations, but there is the major distributor James Hall & Co, BAE Military Air Solutions, EDF have a nuclear power station in Westinghouse Springfields, the Co-Operative bank (near Skelmersdale) and Hinduja Global Solutions. There really is a wealth of large businesses from each sector!
Education and staying on
Huge numbers of students come to the North West of England to study at the numerous higher educations’ sites and colleges in the area. With UCLAN and LU being 2 of the larger universities, the North West is home to Edge Hill University, a well-known teaching university. Once students have completed their courses – they stay on in the area with a rate of roughly 1 in 3 students staying on in roles and positions they’ve found after graduating in the culture and environment they’ve spent years getting to know.
This presents a large opportunity – outside of experienced professionals, each year there are between 50,000 – 75,000 students from universities and colleges in Lancashire that are looking for accommodation close to their new jobs. Preston is perfectly placed to take full advantage of that and with the significant investments planned for the Universities in the surrounding areas, this number will only rise.
Preston is gaining significant investment as part of the Northern Powerhouse. It’s ideal location to UK beauty spots means that it’s desirable and practical while remaining affordable. Property Investors in the area can take advantage of high rental yields and a significant stream of incoming tenants, rather than being an avoided area, there is nothing but growth in Preston’s future.