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Northern Cities Dominate Buy-to-Let Rankings in UK Housing Market

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    Liverpool and Manchester Both Feature in the Top 10 Cities for Buy-to-Let

    New research has revealed that northern cities dominate the buy-to-let market, with five locations sitting in the top 10 cities for buy-to-let in the UK in 2023. In comparison, two southern and three Midlands cities also make up the rankings.

    Following a subdued year in the property market, it’s no surprise that investors are looking further north for investment opportunities, where property investments are usually cheaper and offer high gross rental yields.

    Find Out More: Check out our guide on low-risk investments in the UK for the latest property insights!

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      What Are the Best Cities for Buy-to-Let Investments in the UK?

      Simply Business, an insurance firm, has identified Glasgow as the UK city seeing the most significant increase in buy-to-let properties over the past year. According to the analysis of more than 100,000 landlord insurance policies, Nottingham, Leeds, and Bristol are close behind.

      An increase in buy-to-let properties in an area suggests a higher demand for investment opportunities, with developers identifying potential hotspots that will appeal to tenants and buyers.

      Glasgow witnessed a 12% surge in buy-to-let properties, while Nottingham and Leeds recorded increases of over 8%. In contrast, despite hosting over 40,000 buy-to-let properties, London demonstrated the smallest growth among these cities.

      Based on insurance policy data, the top 10 cities for buy-to-let properties in 2023 are as follows:

      1. Glasgow
      2. Nottingham
      3. Leeds
      4. Bristol
      5. Leicester
      6. Manchester
      7. Birmingham
      8. Liverpool
      9. Edinburgh
      10. London

      Edinburgh, which experienced the most significant growth in 2022, slipped to ninth place this year, and Leicester also witnessed a comparable decline. Meanwhile, Leeds surged to third in 2023, a notable rise from its placement outside the top five last year.

      London continues to dominate in terms of the total number of private rental properties available, constituting 40% of policies provided through the broker in 2023. However, the capital’s growth has slowed significantly, with only a 4% increase compared to the 21% observed in 2022. This suggests landlords may turn their attention away from the capital for their property investments, especially if they have one eye on their buy-to-let fees.

      Read More: Stay informed with the latest buy-to-let insights with some of our in-depth articles, including our guides on Manchester new-build flats and how to make money in property.

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      It is no surprise to see Liverpool and Manchester occupy two places in the Simply Business list of top 10 cities for buy-to-let properties. The North West region has traditionally high yields and good-value properties – the average property price in Liverpool is around £177,000 per the HM Land Registry UK House Price Index.

      In addition, those cities have undergone considerable regeneration over the past 20 years. They also have economies that attract investment and create job prospects, bringing more potential tenants to the city for work. Throw in two massive student populations and a substantial tourism sector, and it is easy to see why North West’s investment potential could tempt buy-to-let investors. The North West area of the UK offers a vibrant student accommodation investment option for property investors.

      However, 2024 could be a stellar year for North West property investment. Real estate company Savills forecasts a substantial 9.2% return for North West buy-to-let properties in 2024. They also predicted 20.2% capital growth for the region by 2028.

      Dive into some of our area guides for more information on the regional buy-to-let market.

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      Dale Barham

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