by Jonathan Morgan, managing director of Leeds city living specialist, Morgans.
A wave of new apartment developments in Leeds city centre has coincided with a number of new accolades for the city, as well as several high-profile restaurant and bar openings, which has resulted in a surge in the number of people choosing to live in the city centre.
We’re receiving record enquiries from people who are eager to make Leeds city centre their home, recognising just how easy and exciting life in the city can be. In July and August our rental enquiries were 15 per cent higher than during the same period last year, and there is a genuine sense of excitement and energy.
The city has just been ranked fifth on The Lonely Planet’s best 10 places to visit in Europe and is now bidding to become the European Capital of Culture in 2023. We also have a host of new bars and restaurants opening every month, some owned by well-known local restauranteurs and others by established global giants - look out for Issho, East 59th, Mowgli Street Food and The Potting Shed.
Leeds is home to a diverse range of strong and dynamic industries which continue to create growing employment opportunities- recent figures from Leeds City Council, show that the city has experienced the fastest growth of any major UK legal centre this decade and that job creation in the city is higher than in any other city outside London.
The positivity and confidence which is defining Leeds is helping to create a fantastic opportunity for developers and as a result we’re now marketing growing numbers of city centre apartment schemes developed for the rentals market. These include 53 The Calls, where work has just completed on 19 contemporary apartments developed by Avenir Works. The apartments in a former office building at the eastern end of The Calls are of modern design with loads of character, including high ceilings, exposed brickwork and large windows. East Point on Richmond Street, close to The Calls, is another high-quality development consisting of 42 apartments- the scheme has seen a former college building converted into homes.
Both these developments are renting now, along with X1 Aire on East Street, which is also aimed specifically at renters. After years of undersupply, it’s great to see that the city centre’s residential market is now stepping up the pace again and other exciting developments due to complete in the next 12 months include 2, The Headrow and Victoria House which will offer renters further options across the city.
A large number of our tenants are moving into the city centre for the first time from across Leeds and beyond, and this trend is set to continue. As it stands, between 80 per cent and 85 per cent of our tenants are under the age of 30 and around 90 per cent of these either already rent or live with parents and family. Just over half already live in the Leeds region and around 11 per cent are moving to Leeds from the south-east.
This corresponds with recent data which reveals that price growth in many northern cities is outstripping that in London and the south-east- it’s no secret that affordability in London is already a major challenge, and this will continue to drive increasing numbers of owner- occupiers, as well as investors and tenants, to the core Northern cities.
The availability of housing is a key factor in supporting economic growth and it is critical that housing supply keeps pace with a growing population in order to ensure that Leeds fulfills its potential and rightly takes its place as one of the UK’s most dynamic cities.
For further information about Morgans visit www.cityliving.co.uk