Cardiff property investment is becoming an increasingly popular option in the UK buy to let market. The capital city of Wales has seen a significant surge in demand for buy to let Cardiff property. There have been several recent endeavours to invest in Cardiff, from new shopping centres to football pitches. Several extensive regeneration and development initiatives are currently transforming the city. It is one of the fastest growing UK cities, and there is a high demand for Cardiff buy to let property from both tenants and investors.
What is Cardiff like?
Cardiff is a vibrant, young and dynamic city with a rich heritage. Cardiff was recently voted the UK’s most sociable city, and it has a host of independent businesses, interesting events and vibrant street art to match. Close to the countryside, the Welsh capital has plenty of walking routes and parks; it’s close to the mountains too. Cardiff is relatively small compared to other UK cities, giving it a friendly and welcoming feel. It has a growing young population, three universities and a buzzing social scene. From the historic port at Cardiff Bay to world-class rugby matches at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff is a lively and thriving city. It is the largest city in Wales, and as the capital, it offers numerous opportunities for Cardiff investment.
A History of Cardiff
From its roots as a small market town to its colossal port status in the 1900s, Cardiff has consistently transformed over its history. Cardiff has had human occupation since Neolithic times, with continuous settlement during the Bronze Age and Iron Age. Cardiff Castle has evidence of Roman construction, and in 1091 the ancient castle was rebuilt by Robert Fitzhamon. You can still see Cardiff’s long and varied history when walking down its streets.
The City Hall is one of the world’s most beautiful civic centres, and the beloved Cardiff Animal Wall was completed in 1892. The Victorian arcades of the Castle Quarter still house traditional independent businesses too. During Cardiff’s industrial prime, canals were running across most of the city, and there are still some visible as well as underground. Cardiff was granted city status on 28th October 1905, and since then has continued to grow and flourish.
Industry in Cardiff
Coal was key in transforming Cardiff into the bustling city that it is today. In the 1900s, Cardiff docks were one of the largest in the world with 11km of quayage. With an increasing demand for coal across the world to fuel industrialising economies, Cardiff also had an impressive Coal Exchange. The first £1 million deal in the world was closed in Cardiff’s coal exchange in 1907. After the Welsh coal industry declined, the number of people involved in this industry dropped dramatically too. In 2016 only 30 people were working in mining and quarrying. Steel was another important industry in the city, largely contributing to the shipbuilding industry in the 1930s.
These traditional industries have cleared the way for new industries looking to invest in Cardiff. As the capital of Wales, Cardiff is home to most major Welsh media outlets. It is also home to a number of influential Welsh businesses.
Shopping and Sightseeing in Cardiff
Retail has had a long history in Cardiff. It is the home of the world’s oldest record store – Spillers Records. It also has Wales’ oldest and largest department store – Howells. City centre shopping facilities have been a source of major Cardiff investment. There is a diverse combination of both historical independent stores and modern chain stores. Cardiff has a thriving retail sector, and St David’s is one of the largest shopping centres in the world.
Tourism has also been an emerging industry in Cardiff. The city is proud of its heritage, and its unique history is an interest for both tourists and locals. The Cardiff Story Museum tells the tale of the city in a fun, interactive way. Every year the city receives around 18 million tourists, and record visitor numbers have boosted jobs in this sector. As of 2016, 16,000 people were working in the Accommodation and Food Service Activities sector.
The Culture of Cardiff
Cardiff has a vibrant and dynamic arts scene with a number of unique arts spaces. Street art has continued to be a visible sign of Cardiff’s culture. The ‘Empty Walls’ festival brought over 20 street artists to the city centre to create a unique outdoor gallery. The multi-artform cultural space – Chapter – is a cutting-edge venue with over 80,000 visitors a year. With over 30 studio spaces, a cinema and gallery, this unique project is a hub of Cardiff culture. St Fagans National Museum of History is the most visited heritage attraction in Wales. This 100-acre open-air museum has over fifty rebuilt buildings from around Wales. The National Museum Cardiff is the home of Wales’ art, geology and natural history collections and features cultural heritage from fossils to famous artworks.
Cardiff Investment in Education
The university sector in Cardiff has been one of the major driving forces in the city’s recent growth. Cardiff has three universities with a combined population of over 80,000 students. The prestigious Cardiff University is one of the UK’s classic red brick universities. It is also the only Welsh institution to be part of the Russell Group. Cardiff Metropolitan University has over 12,000 students and has many research and enterprise centres. The University of South Wales is another vibrant university, founded in 2013 after the merge of the University of Wales, Newport and the University of Glamorgan. Students have become a vital part of the city making up 20% of the population and contributing £1.3 billion to the Cardiff economy.
Cardiff also has a high volume of international students – around 1,200 at Cardiff Metropolitan and 7,000 at Cardiff University. The city’s universities have also continued to invest in Cardiff. The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama opened a £22.5 million facility in 2011. The University of South Wales opened its £3.7 million sports park, and it has also invested over £170 million on its Cardiff campus. The continuing drive to invest in Cardiff universities and facilities has been a huge factor in the city’s success.
Sport in Cardiff
Cardiff gained international attention when it hosted the final of the UEFA Champions League in 2017. As the capital city of Wales, it has organised historic and prestigious sporting events. The Millennium Stadium is home to Wales’ beloved rugby team, the national sport is followed passionately in the city. Cardiff has a variety of unique sporting venues such as the Cardiff Bay Water Activity Centre, Cardiff International White Water Centre and Boulders Indoor Climbing Centre. It also has the International Sports Village, which has an Olympic size swimming pool. The city’s football club is Cardiff City, and they decided to invest in Cardiff City Stadium in 2014. This has increased the current capacity to 33,280.
Cardiff Investment in Transport
Cardiff is less than two hours away from London. It is one of Europe’s best-connected destinations and has an airport which has over 50 direct flights. Cardiff has an excellent road, rail and air infrastructure. It’s on the M4, and also has twice hourly train services to London. Recent Cardiff investment of £1 billion into the South Wales metro has made commuting into and around the city far easier. There have been numerous efforts to invest in Cardiff transport links to the rest of the country as well as around the city itself.
Though Cardiff has a relatively small population compared to other cities in the UK, it is the largest in Wales. Recent estimates show that Cardiff has a population of over 350,000, with 890,000 in the larger urban zone. Cardiff has a noticeably young population, mainly due to its large number of students. With students making up 20% of the city’s population, Cardiff buy to let and rental property is in great demand. Cardiff has the smallest percentage of over 65s in Wales – only 13% of the city. Cardiff has also experienced considerable population growth. Between 2001 and 2011 Cardiff’s population grew by an impressive 46,000.
Plans to Invest in Cardiff
There have been an impressive number of Cardiff investment initiatives and redevelopments recently. Projects such as the Millennium Stadium, the Welsh Parliament Building, the Millennium Centre and St David’s Shopping Centre have transformed the city. The £270 million plan to invest in Cardiff International Sports Village played a vital role in the 2012 Olympics. Central Square has been one of the most ambitious Cardiff investment schemes and is currently still in progress. Its goal is to relaunch the gateway to the city and create a vibrant, dynamic entrance. The Cardiff development began in 2016 with a five-stage plan due to complete in 2020. It will provide a headquarters for BBC Wales, as well as providing office space, retail space and a new home for Cardiff University’s prestigious journalism department. Similar to Manchester’s hugely successful MediaCityUK, this new development should also bring an influx of new media professionals looking to invest in Cardiff rental property.
Cardiff Property Investment – The Rise of Purpose Built Student Accommodation
Property investment in Cardiff has been on the rise as fast as its increasing population. Over the last three years, there have been 21 new significant purpose built student accommodation developments considered, under construction or open in Cardiff. Recently, PBSA has caused an incredible boom in Cardiff buy to let investment. The increasing demand for student accommodation has led to a new type of property dominating the city’s buy to let sector. Sites like the recently demolished Cardiff Royal Infirmary West Wing will become a 650-bed student accommodation block that is ten storeys high. There is also a 686 room block on the way nearby at the old Howard Gardens site.
The UK demand for PBSA has skyrocketed in recent years, and the growing student sector has provided Cardiff buy to let investors with more opportunities. This luxury student accommodation has been popular with overseas students who are looking for more hotel-type student accommodation too.
The Need for Cardiff Buy to Let Property
A high student retention rate means that the demand for private rental accommodation doesn’t end at graduation either. Many students who choose to settle in Cardiff after they finish university are looking for the same kind of high-quality residential accommodation they enjoyed while they were studying. High rise flats and luxurious modern studios are proving another lucrative Cardiff property investment opportunity too.
There has been a significant rise in the need for buy to let property in Cardiff. New residents who moved to the city for work are looking for high-quality rental accommodation in the city centre. The demand for student property in Cardiff is unprecedented there, with 2.5 students for every PBSA bed space. In some regions of Cardiff, 75% of housing is rented rather than owned. This huge shift towards residents who rent has recently opened up many lucrative opportunities for potential Cardiff property investors.
The Perfect Time to Invest in Cardiff
Regarding capital appreciation, Cardiff buy to let property remains a solid investment choice. From 2008 to 2018, house prices in Cardiff increased by an impressive 26%. A property for sale in Cardiff costs over £100k less than the UK average. This means potential investors in Cardiff find their money goes further than in other areas of the country.
For potential property investors, this Welsh city is providing a number of valuable opportunities. Cardiff’s growing reputation for business, retail and investment has been driving the economy to new heights. Cardiff’s increasing population and large student numbers mean that the demand for residential accommodation in the city centre has never been higher. Cardiff buy to let property is providing investors with lucrative returns and increasing house prices mean that now is the perfect time to invest in Cardiff.