With house prices in the UK’s capital having reached epic levels, investors have turned their attention to the regions and even Londoners themselves have been looking elsewhere. Over the past five years, the number of people moving out of the city has risen by 80%, with over 93,000 departing in 2016. While Birmingham has been the favourite destination and other regional cities like Bristol and Leeds are amongst the top 20, the majority of people leaving London head for locations much closer. As Londoners have discovered, in towns like Luton, just half an hour away, property prices can be as much as 50% lower and for investors they offer far better yields and capital growth prospects.
How does Luton perform for property investment?
It’s not surprising then that Luton was named as the UK’s number 1 property investment hotspot in 2016 by the Halifax Building Society, with a 19.4% rise in property prices, more than twice the UK national average of 7.5%. The average house price in Luton stood at £256,636, having gained £41.702 in a year and offered an average rental return of 4.81%. Indeed, the outer ring towns like Luton and Stevenage are amongst those with the fastest rising properties, and the trend is likely to continue in the coming years. Savill's predicts that Luton prices will rise by an average of 41% between 2016 and 2019.
Best known as the location for London Luton Airport, the home of Vauxhall vans and of Nadiya Hussain, the winner of the popular TV show Bake Off, Luton lies just 30 miles north of London and 22 minutes away by train. It has been described as one of the UK’s most affordable commuter towns but its appeal is not limited to lower property prices – the town is the location for a number of major regeneration schemes with a total value of £1.5bn which are expected to create 18,000 new jobs over the next 20 years. They include the £110m redevelopment of Luton Airport, which is already underway, and a new 395 - acre Enterprise Zone. In total there are eight major strategic development sites offering retail, leisure, hotels and housing opportunities and large sites for engineering, technology, creative and aviation - linked employment. The Luton Direct Air Rail Transport, which will link the Luton Airport Parkway railway station to the airport, should also boost economic growth. Just opposite the station, Napier Gateway will see the creation of new homes and facilities on a former Vauxhall site and is set to complete in 2020. Other projects include a new £150m football and concert stadium, investment in the town’s Cultural Quarter, a Hilton Hotel and new transport facilities in the town centre. Luton is also home to the University of Bedfordshire which has over 15,600 students.
“London has long been a global property investment hub, but those investing in the capital need to have large budgets and be willing to accept low yields. For those who want exposure to the capital’s property market but are looking for better value and returns, Luton is the ideal choice. Those who invest now can take advantage of rising demand as Londoners increasingly move out beyond the city’s boundaries, and of the investment taking place which will transform Luton into the leading out - of - London property hotspot.”
Newlands Park: The proposed new development sits on a 40 - acre site adjoining Junction 10 of the M1. Once completed, it will provide a significant landmark development comprising 500,000 sq ft of office space alongside leisure, retail, hotel and hospitality, served by under croft parking. The topography of the site enables us to create a positive design statement with high visibility from the M1, while an iconic ‘crystal’ design to the north creates a sense of space and aspiration – complementing Luton Town Centre and contributing significantly to the local economy, with Newlands Park expected to deliver 4,000+ high quality jobs
Luton has been named as the top spot for rental yield and price growth, according to LendInvest.
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