A study by one of the industry giants found that property values close to a major regeneration site increased over 3% p.a. faster than the wider area. These are 4 of the fastest changing cities in England and their regenerating areas that investors should have on their radar.
A city centre regeneration so successful that its model is taught in universities across the world. Manchester is not finished yet, aiming to expand the centre's population from 70,000 to 100,000 before the decade is out.
THE CITY CENTRE
With few sites still available within the inner ring road, properties here command premium prices, but may suit investors whose priority is long term capital growth. Buy to let investors may find better value in the adjacent regeneration hotpots such as Ancoats, New Islington and New Cross.
The Quays includes MediaCity which is doing for the media industry what Canary Wharf did for London's financial sector. Buoyed by the arrival of the BBC, the area now employs thousands. Currently underway is the £1 billion Phase 2, adding vastly more studio, office, leisure and residential space.
The ribbons of land either side of the River Irwell connect the city centre with Salford Quays. Easy access to both has made this area a very popular residential district, offering good opportunities to potential investors.
Birmingham's city centre is undergoing a level of change not seen since the 1960s. It is at an earlier point in it's regeneration than Manchester but fast catching up. Huge new grade A office buildings are filling up with blue chip employers, creating considerable demand for residential accommodation in the city centre.
PARADISE / ARENA CENTRAL
Described as the most important development Birmingham has seen in a generation, Paradise and neighbouring Arena Central are fast becoming a mixed use area on a grand scale. Already home to HSBC and PwC, a further 3,600 jobs are set to arrive in 2021 at the new Government Hub.
Forming the east and south east side of the city centre, this is already the area for tech-meets-creative-meets city centre living. Digbeth is being further transformed by the £1.5 billion masterplan to change the former Smithfield wholesale markets into a thriving new commercial and residential area, making it the city's most important property hotspot. Property prices will be driven further with the arrival of the nearby HS2 Curzon Street Station.
The development of Leeds city centre has given it the second largest legal and business services sector in the UK and a shopping experience that is the envy of the North. What it lacks is homes, able to accommodate just 10,000 residents - a tiny population compared to other regional centres.
With a lack of available development sites and eager to increase its economy, the city has looked to the hundreds of acres of underused land on the southern edge of it's commercial core. Leeds South Bank is one of the largest projects of its type in Europe and will double the size of the city centre, creating 35,000 new jobs. However, the plans provide for just 8,000 homes, so properties nearby will be in unusually high demand.
National and multinational companies are buying into the growth story that is Liverpool. The west coast's largest port, a major tourist destination and the UK's largest asset management centre outside of London, the city is rapidly diversifying and increasing its city centre population.
This 20 year, £5.5 billion project is well under way, transforming the former dockyards to create a world class waterfront, incorporating commercial, residential and leisure uses.
Development is steadily moving north from the city centre, having now reached Central Dock, one of the five districts making up Liverpool Waters. This will be of particular interest to property investors, being the area most oriented towards residential development.
THE KNOWLEDGE QUARTER
Centred on the University of Liverpool, over £1 billion has been invested to create a world leading biotechnology hub, with a further £1 billion committed. Little space has been earmarked for residential use, so adjacent areas such as The Fabric District and Ropewalks are now in high demand.
Without doubt the city's most fashionable area, Baltic Triangle is home to Liverpool's media, creative and technology sector. Whilst not formally designated as a regeneration zone, it is a major focus of the city council's drive to increase the city centre's economy and population. Property investors will enjoy high occupancy rates and strong resale values.