By Julian Ramsden, Director | 8 April 2016
Liverpool and Birmingham have been getting a lot of media attention recently (including on our news page).
Sheffield hasn’t featured in as many headlines, but it’s been quietly building its investment case. And it’s a case worth investigating.
- High tenant demand from students and professionals
Sheffield is home to 2 large universities and one of the biggest education colleges in the UK. And like many large university towns, there’s a huge need for private student accommodation.
An interesting feature of the Sheffield market is that a large percentage of students choose to stay in the city after graduation – because of employment opportunities at its well-known research institutions and companies like Boeing, Tata and Rolls-Royce. And this means demand is increasing at a steady and sustainable rate.
- Transport and infrastructure investment, including HS2 & HS3
Sheffield is surprisingly well connected. It takes just over 2 hours to get to London via direct train, and there are easy links to 4 airports.
It’s also part of the Northern Powerhouse and is spearheading transport investment alongside Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester. These cities are working together to use government funding towards road schemes, the HS2 and HS3 links and an Oyster Card-type system for public transport.
- Regeneration is making the city increasingly desirable to tenants
Sheffield’s economy is averaging 5% annual growth, and it has a vibrant artistic, digital and creative scene in addition to the industrial giants for which it’s known.
The council is championing investment to attract companies and entrepreneurs, and as a result it has desirable amenities.
For example, the council is in the midst of a £480 million scheme to develop the city’s retail quarter. According to projections, the project will bring more than £290 million of additional annual retail spend when it’s finished.
Demand outstrips supply
There’s growing tenant demand for the reasons above, but there’s also a shortage of quality rental stock in the city centre. And that means buy-to-let investors are benefiting from high yields. For example, we have one development offering up 5.7 to 6.1% net rental income.