Leeds is performing at its highest level since March 2020, index shows

Northern cities, including Leeds, are performing at their highest levels since initial lockdown measures were put in place, according to new research.

Leeds is seeing signs of recovery across multiple sectors following the easing of lockdown restrictions on May 17. Picture: Adobe Stock

Avison Young’s UK Cities Recovery index, which helps monitor the way in which the coronavirus pandemic impacted the UK’s major cities, found that Leeds Liverpool and Manchester are all showing signs of recovery.

Northern cities were some of the hardest hit during the lockdown periods, with the three cities all experiencing some of the strictest social distancing measures during the final quarter of the year.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Following the lifting of restrictions on May 17, the hotels and leisure sector indices for all three cities saw notable spikes of activity, with Leeds reaching the highest reading out of the three.

Throughout the pandemic, the residential sector index across each city has been strong and is predicted to remain so until the end of the extended stamp duty holiday on June 30. Over the past fortnight, Leeds has experienced its highest peak so far, suggesting that the extended tax break may continue to provide strength in the market over coming months.

Although still subdued compared to other sectors, there has been an improvement in the return to office sector index for the three cities.

The commercial activity sector remains turbulent under the strains of the pandemic, but the index across all cities is continuing to increase.

Claire Paraskeva, principal at Avison Young, Leeds, said: “It’s no surprise that the lifting of restrictions has done wonders for the recovery of Leeds, and for the nation as a whole.”

Gavin Brent, managing director, leisure, at Avison Young, added: “The race between the vaccine rollout and the anticipated re-opening on 21 June is an important one for the (leisure) sector.”