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York Buy-to-Let Guide

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    Everything You Need to Know About York Buy-to-Let

    York is known as a scenic and historic city, and it even holds the title of Most Haunted City in Europe. Interest in the area’s property market seems to be growing, with soaring house prices and rapidly increasing rents.

    But rising costs and lingering spirits have arguably done nothing to stem the city’s popularity as a place of residence, so is it worth investing in The City of York as a buy-to-let investment?

    As a top destination for young professionals, students, and holidaymakers, there are plenty of diverse opportunities for property investors to find success in Yorkshire’s county capital.

    Let’s investigate the city’s buy-to-let credentials together, with this comprehensive guide offering the latest facts surrounding York’s property market.

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      York Riverside

      Buy-to-Let Property Prices in York

      According to Rightmove, properties sold in York in late 2023 had an overall average price of £343,384. The UK House Price Index shows that the average UK property was worth £287,782 in October 2023, which makes York significantly pricier than the national average.

      In 2023, York’s average selling price was 8% higher than a year prior and 18% higher than in 2020, so it’s clear that house prices in York are on the rise. But is this trend set to continue?

      Capital value appreciation has been sluggish recently, but York has bucked this trend and even had the most robust house price increases in all of England and Wales in 2022. Property expert Savills predicts that capital value is set to increase by 20.2% in Yorkshire and the Humber over the next few years to 2027.

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      York street view

      Buy-to-Let Rental Market in York

      According to, the average monthly rent in York is £1,080. York is more affordable than the UK average rent of £1,279 PCM, per the latest HomeLet Rental Index.

      In 2020, York was found to be one of the UK cities with the most rapidly rising rents, and this growth has continued, with the average rent surpassing £1000 for the first time in 2023. However, the city’s rental market still retains strong demand, and there’s a chronic undersupply of available rental properties.

      But this potential for high rental income doesn’t translate to wildly high rental yields. Gross rental yields are more modest but still decent in some areas, ranging from around 3-6%.

      There is also consistent demand for student accommodation in York as there are two universities in the city, The University of York and York St. John University.

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        Investment Properties for Sale in York

        York offers a range of property investment types, including terraced, semi-detached properties and flats. As mentioned, properties can see considerably higher prices than the standard UK average, meaning that investors might find better-value investment opportunities elsewhere.

        According to Rightmove, over the last 12 months, properties in York had an overall average of £345,077.

        However, despite the higher price point, terraced properties have remained the most sought-after option in the past year, with an average price of £347,678, followed by semi-detached properties at £336,165 and flats at an average of £221,859.

        In the past year, sold prices in York experienced a 3% increase compared to the previous year and were 8% higher than the peak of £319,153 observed in 2021.

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        York street view

        Buy-to-Let Investment in York: Area Breakdown

        York City Centre offers all the amenities of city life but on a smaller scale. Residents can also conveniently travel to Leeds via a direct 22-minute train journey from York Station.

        To the north, there are some upmarket and mid-priced areas, such as Clifton and Bootham.

        At the same time, eastern suburbs are popular with students due to their proximity to The University of York’s Heslington Campus. This includes areas like Tang Hall, Heslington, and Heworth.

        Other popular student areas include the City Centre and Fishergate, and The Groves is perfect for targeting York St. John students as the campus is situated there.

        York City Centre

        Average Property Prices in York City Centre

        The average property price in this area is £400,024.

        Average Rental Yield in York City Centre

        The average rental yield in this area is 3.29%.

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          York street view


          Average Property Prices in Clifton

          The average property price in this area is £383,320.

          Average Rental Yield in Clifton

          The average rental yield in this area is 4.91%.

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          Average Property Prices in Heworth

          The average property price in this area is £341,607.

          Average Rental Yield in Heworth

          The average rental yield in this area is 5.85%.

          (Average property prices were taken from Rightmove in late 2023, and gross rental yield estimates were calculated with figures from in late 2023)

          What is the Best Area of York to Invest in?

          Compared to the average buy-to-let property for sale in the UK, properties in York are relatively expensive, but some areas can offer a decent rental yield thanks to the high rent that comes with such an in-demand area.

          The property price tags in York City Centre are sizable, leading to a low gross rental yield. However, for those pursuing short-let visitors, a central property would be most advantageous, and with thorough research, it may be possible to turn a bigger profit than a buy-to-let residential property.

          But in general, the surrounding suburbs can offer a more attractive rental yield, with yields of over 5% achievable in some areas.

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            Why You Should Consider a Buy-to-Let Investment in York

            Strong Potential for Holiday Lets

            According to a YouGov poll, York is the most popular city in the UK, and it’s plain to see why. York City Centre is overflowing with sites of historical importance, such as York Minster and Micklegate Bar, and is enclosed by the York City Walls.

            The city offers plenty of charm for domestic and international visitors alike, and tourism plays a massive part in the local economy. This has made it a hot destination for the short-letting sector. In some cases, depending on the area, it can be more profitable to let short-term rather than long-term, as the prices of holiday rentals shoot up during certain seasons.


            York is famed for its beauty, but that doesn’t mean the local government doesn’t have some work to do. Several regeneration projects are currently ongoing or on the cards in York, covering the City Centre and other ailing areas.

            Plans for the centre of York include the Coney Street Riverside Master Plan. This ambitious project aims to create a route between Coney Street and the riverside walkway.

            York Station is another spot undergoing some revamps in recent years, continuing with the York Station Gateway Project (expected completion in 2025).

            Former railway land to the west of York Station is also pegged for a makeover, turning some land which hasn’t been in public use for over 150 years into new city centre residential and business districts. This is one of England’s largest city centre regeneration sites, and it will use the National Railway Museum as a key anchor in the plans.

            Regeneration projects are one way of gauging how in-demand an area may be in the near future. This is good news for buy-to-let investors, as they can get involved when property prices are lower, benefitting from capital appreciation and increased rental income further down the line when demand grows and the area is revitalised.

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              modern apartment building in city. front exterior of newly built apartment block with balconies. city living in the UK

              York New-Builds

              Over the last few years, new-build properties have risen in popularity within the UK rental market. Having certain advantages over standard residential properties, this property type has stirred considerable interest from landlords and tenants alike.

              Being brand-new developments, these require almost zero maintenance work or upkeep, meaning there is a faster turnaround for new residents to move in and for investors to start seeing returns.

              The majority of new-builds are now incorporating the latest eco-technology in an effort to address rising eco-awareness within the population. Equipment like PV solar panels and mechanical ventilation heat recovery systems can significantly reduce energy bills by generating their own electricity and providing optimum energy efficiency.

              The City of York Council has implemented the Housing Delivery Programme, which is committed to developing over 600 new homes across the region in council-owned sites. With a strong emphasis on innovative design principles (such as reduced impact on the environment and energy bills), this scheme aims to create a healthy and vibrant place to live.

              Considering recent market trends, investing in new-builds could be a lucrative option for many investors.

              However, while there are some new-build investment options in York, there could be a wider variety of opportunities in larger investment cities – such as Liverpool and Manchester.

              Read More: Discover more about this investment trend with our recent buy-to-let guides, covering everything from new-builds in Poole to the latest UK hotspots!

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              Off-Plan Property in York

              New-build investments are capable of generating considerable demand from both investors and tenants but typically have higher costs compared to older residential properties.

              Investing off-plan is one way to engage with newly built properties at a more affordable price.

              This strategy involves buying a property before it has been built, usually meaning that investors can secure their chosen developments at a price discounted from standard market rates.

              By getting involved early in construction, investors can also benefit from higher levels of capital appreciation. The more progress advances to completion, the more value can be accumulated. Compared to older properties, there is also strong rental demand on offer, which can see considerable future rental yields.

              The best areas for off-plan investment are usually those with solid infrastructure and high levels of regeneration. While there is some potential for off-plan investment within the York rental market, it may be more lucrative for investors to seek UK cities with more concentrated levels of new-build developments (such as Liverpool or Manchester).

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              How Does York Compare to Other UK Regions When It Comes to Buy-to-Let?

              York is a popular area with diverse property investment opportunities, offering high rental demand and decent rental yields. However, the property prices in this North Yorkshire city are higher than average and could be prohibitively expensive to many buy-to-let investors. Achieving much higher rental yields in areas with more affordable property and high rental demand is possible.

              For example, apartments for sale in Liverpool typically see below-average property prices, offering some of the best rental yields in the country, according to Zoopla, hitting an impressive average of 7.21%.

              Yorkshire and the Humber’s projected capital appreciation makes it attractive for buy-to-let investors who eventually hope to sell their property and make significant gains. Still, there’s no reason to restrict investment to this region. According to Savills, other areas, such as the North West, are predicted to experience the same growth.

              Further Reading: Our recent Belfast buy-to-let guide delves deeper into the UK property sector, analysing the latest trends and statistics! Or, if you’d like to explore North West investment, our 2024 market report outlines the current property market in Liverpool.

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                Want to Invest in York in 2024?

                So, is York one of the best buy-to-let areas in the UK?

                Despite high property prices, the area remains a popular choice for buy-to-let. Such an attractive area of historical importance is bound to have high rental demand and generous rental income, and solid yields can be achieved in some regions.

                But the fact remains that expensive property is a high barrier for most investors to overcome. It may not be worth investing in York when other major cities in the North have high rental demand, more affordable property, and better rental yields, not to mention the same optimistic capital growth forecast as the Yorkshire region.

                Want to stay up to date with the rest of the UK market? Take a look at some of our recent buy-to-let guides below:

                Map of York

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                Jessica Ferris

                Jessica is a property content writer at RWinvest. Keeping a close eye on the UK property market, Jessica helps our readers stay informed and up to date on the latest market news and statistics.


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