Is Middlesbrough a buy-to-let hidden gem?

Is Middlesbrough a buy-to-let hidden gem?

The buy-to-let market, like so many other markets this year, has had to endure an extremely turbulent time during 2020. From Brexit to COVID-19, there have been numerous obstacles for the buy-to-let market to traverse, however, it seems to be back on the up across the nation as rental demand increases.

New data from lettings agent regulatory body ARLA Propertymark has revealed that the number of new prospective tenants has risen coming into August and will hopefully continue to do so. The data found that throughout August, the number of new prospective tenants actually reached an all-time high, which bodes extremely well for the property market as a whole.

With the property market on the up, now seems like a great time to invest in a buy-to-let property, but the real question is where? Well, look no further than Middlesbrough.

Famous for its industry, engineering, transporter bridge and football club, this Teesside town has seen extensive growth in recent years. From a small farm town of just 25 people back in 1801, Middlesbrough is now home to an estimated 474,476 inhabitants, has a GDP of an estimated £11 billion, and has over 180,000 jobs as of 2018.

The town’s exponential growth over the years has seen it transform into a buy-to-let hidden gem, with constant high yields and relatively cheap prices. In September this year, property portal site Zoopla researched into where the 10 highest-yielding areas in the UK were. All ten regions were found in Northern England and in the end, Middlesbrough was found to have the highest rental yield. The town boasts an impressive 7.7% gross rental yield, thanks to a combination of low property prices and a steady median monthly rent of between £450 and £476, according to Zoopla’s research.

Tom Parker, consumer spokesperson at Zoopla, had this to say regarding the results: ‘With all of the top 10 hotspots being in northern England or Scotland, it’s clear that the significantly lower house prices in these areas, coming in well under the national average of £291,055, play a role in the higher yields generated for investors.’

Investor interest has absolutely increased thanks to the introduction of the stamp duty holiday in July as well as the aforementioned increase in demand across the UK, but what makes Middlesbrough stand out to investors? Well the Teesside town has seen an abundance of investment in recent years, and in just the last few weeks has seen a £9 million deal agreed to boost the regeneration of the town centre.

Another massive economic boost the Teesside town benefits from is Teesside University. Located in the heart of Middlesbrough, Teesside University has had a substantial amount of investment in recent years to transform the campus, giving it the leading edge in a number of departments such as digital innovation, forensic facilities and sports science. An additional £300 million is also set to be invested between now and 2026 to further enhance the university’s quality. Teesside University currently enrols around 20,000 students, with over 18,500 of those studying here in the UK. The large student population only adds to the already impressive economy and encourages many to stay upon completion of their courses and move to Middlesbrough full-time.

The buy-to-let potential in Middlesbrough is clear to see. The small North Yorkshire market town has an awful lot going for it, with a great university, strong economy and continued investment and regeneration; all on top of the highest yield in the UK according to Zoopla, but it is never talked about in the same vein as larger cities with similar qualities. This hidden gem could be a perfect investment opportunity for those looking for their next buy-to-let property.

Are you looking to invest in Middlesbrough? Take a look at this end of terrace house that has been converted into three self-contained studio flats with a NET yield of over 10%!

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