Landlords wanting to take advantage of high demand could do worse than investing in Leeds, due to the booming student population in the city.
Leeds estate agency HOP said students are already reserving homes for next summer on the back of virtual viewings.
Many are also prepared to prepared to pay higher rents to secure the best homes in the current competitive environment.
Many courses at the University of Leeds were oversubscribed this year, as the university even offered some students wanting to study law or business £10,000 cash and free accommodation for the 2022/23 academic year if they deferred their courses. The student population in Leeds has now swelled to more than 70,000.
Josh Buckley, lettings branch manager at HOP’s Leeds city centre office, said: “The pandemic meant a lot of students were hesitant about starting university in 2020 or stayed at home and studied remotely. However, normality returned this year, and our student portfolio is currently 100% let and we’re expecting this trend to continue next year as well.
“We’re now already marketing our portfolio for next summer, which seems crazy when you consider that first year students have only just started university and might not know who they want to live with next year, but the demand for property is already there.
“Many students also seem to have bigger budgets than ever before and it’s generally the most expensive homes, with the highest specifications in the best locations, that are generating most interest.”
HOP manages a large portfolio of student properties in the Leeds city centre, Horsforth and Pudsey
Hyde Park is said to be the most desirable location, due to its proximity to the main university campuses and the city centre, followed by Woodhouse.
Burley also remains popular because it has a train station, while some are still opting for the traditional student heartland of Headingley, despite it now appealing more to young professionals and families.
Buckley added: “All this makes it a good time for landlords and we’ve seen an influx of investors, particularly from the south of England recently, who are buying student properties in Leeds.
“Several have then taken advantage of our Premium Advance Service, where landlords can receive their 12-months’ rent up front, even if their tenants pay monthly.
“This enables them to unlock the potential in their portfolio and reinvest in further buy to let property or refurbishment works to maximise existing investments.
“We recently became the first estate agent in Leeds to offer this service and it’s proving particularly successful with student landlords, who are delighted to see a level of certainty returning to the market after Covid, the evictions ban and many students deferring university.”