Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Property in Leeds

By Novello Team on and updated on

The city of Leeds is widely known as the cultural, financial and commercial centre of West Yorkshire. Its vibrant centre, which offers great shopping, nightlife and cultural activities, is complemented by more residential areas such as Headingley, Leeds Waterfront, Roundhay and Chapel Allerton, which offer everything from beautiful Victorian homes to ultra-modern apartments.

Why buy in Leeds?

Despite all that Leeds has to offer, house prices remain below the national average, with an overall average of just under £240,000 in 2021, up 6% from the previous year. The most popular homes are semi-detached, which have an average selling price of £237,642—terraced properties sold for an average of £204,113, with flats fetching £159,160.

Aside from the housing stock, Leeds has even more to offer buyers. Over the past ten years, the city has benefitted from major investment with a host of development projects attracting businesses, students and professionals.

Leeds City Region, an area including the whole of West Yorkshire and parts of South and North Yorkshire, is now the UK’s second-biggest economy after London, contributing to a strong jobs market. It’s also leading the way in entrepreneurship with a thriving start-up, scale-up and tech sector that’s said to be worth in the region of £1 billion.

It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that the population of Leeds has continued to grow steadily, which in turn has led to a thriving leisure sector. The compact and walkable city centre boasts everything from designer names to unique independent boutiques and everything in between. It’s also billed as the Foodie Capital of the North, with street food stalls and Michelin-starred restaurants sitting side by side.

If arts and culture are more your thing, you’re also spoilt for choice. Leeds Art Gallery is home to a remarkable collection of works, while The Tetley is the place to head for those with more contemporary tastes. Leeds is also part of Yorkshire’s sculpture triangle, stretching from the inner-city Henry Moore Institute to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

The city is also the only place in England outside of London to boast both a resident opera and ballet company, as well as four major theatres, a world-class arena and countless independent venues. These sites host popular events and festivals, including Leeds Waterfront Festival, Leeds Light Night, the iconic Leeds Festival and Leeds International Film Festival, to name just a few.

Plans are also well underway for Leeds 2023, a year-long festival of culture that will feature a multitude of creative experiences, from dance and design to architecture, poetry, sport and world-class performances.

Leeds also has a lot to offer for families looking to enjoy city living close to stunning outdoor spaces. Of the more than 60 parks across Leeds, the great parks of Roundhay, Golden Acre, and Pudsey offer the opportunity to learn about local wildlife and horticultural trends, walk-in stunning grounds and play on the swings, climbing frames and slides. Roundhay Park is also home to Tropical World, a tropical island adventure in which exotic butterflies and birds roam free around the recreated rainforest environment. And, of course, Leeds is on the doorstep of the stunning Yorkshire Dales National Park and all it has to offer.

The cost of living in Leeds

One huge benefit of living in Leeds is that, compared with many other cities, especially those in the south of England, the cost of living is much lower, perhaps accounting for the significant number of people leaving London to head north. In addition to lower house prices, those living in Yorkshire city also pay less for restaurants, groceries, transport, gym membership and much more. It has been estimated that consumer prices in London are 28.45% higher than in Leeds, without taking rent into consideration.

First-time buyers in Leeds

Leeds can be a great city to take your first steps onto the property ladder, with one-bed properties available from as little as £60,000 in some areas. Places, where you can get more for your money include Harehills, where two-bed back-to-back terraces can come in around the £100,000 mark. Other areas to consider could include Beeston, Burmantofts and Gipton. If an apartment is more your style, consider the city centre too. Not only will you be close to everything the city offers but a budget of £100,000-£150,000 should give you a good amount of choice.

No matter where you choose to buy your first property, it can be a confusing and stressful experience. Read our blog ‘How do I know what I can afford as a first-time buyer’ to help you on your way.

Buy-to-lets in Leeds

With so many students and a young workforce, the rental market in Leeds is also booming. Leeds is currently short on housing for the number of young professionals and young families moving into the city, making a buy-to-let property a tempting investment for many.

Data suggests that Leeds has shown some of the strongest growth in the UK property market over the last 12 months and offers yields of 8.97% as of December 2021, according to Zoopla. This is almost double rental yields in London and higher than local neighbours Liverpool (7.43%) and Sheffield (6.05%).

Property prices have also shown consistent growth in recent times, so capital yield in the city is not to be sniffed at.

In other good news, the average rent is around £500 above the national average, at £1580 per month.

There are opportunities for buy-to-let investments across Leeds, but again the popular areas of the city centre and Headingley perform well. For those targeting young professionals and families, consider suburbs such as Cross Gates, Garforth, or look at Burley and Hyde Park if the student market is your focus.

New builds in Leeds

While period properties are often in demand across the city, a new build will set you back more, coming in at an average of £247,638, compared with around £190,000 for an older property. Given that it’s such a busy market, it’s perhaps not surprising that plenty of developments are ongoing, particularly in the family home sector. East Leeds is proving particularly popular with many developers, offering easy access to the city centre and good local amenities.

The Novello Approach

With so much to offer, it’s no surprise that the property market in Leeds is fast-moving and challenging. Securing property in a market with such high demand isn’t always easy, but having the right team in place to help, advise and guide you through the process can make a huge difference.

Novello is here to make that difference. Offering more than a simple survey, we aim to be your partners throughout the house buying process. Our Private Client Surveying service ensures we are always on hand to guide and advise. From a comprehensive building survey to help with any additional investigations that may be needed, renegotiation advice and more, we offer a bespoke service tailored to your needs and responding to your concerns so that you can proceed with confidence and avoid costly mistakes.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you buy property in Leeds or arrange a free consultation.

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