City living specialist Morgans manages Leeds city centre’s largest apartment portfolio and the company’s occupancy figures currently stand at over 99% as tenant demand continually outstrips supply.
He said: “Leeds city centre is desperately short of rental stock, largely because the city centre market has been starved of new-build activity since 2008. Back then, around 400 apartments were being built each year, but recently supply has been at record low levels and we’ve had a couple of years where no new apartments were built at all.
“However, the city’s economy and population have continued growing and as a result the market has been operating close to full occupancy in recent years with very little genuine choice available for people looking to rent in the city centre. Although this is good news for landlords, it is inevitably driving some frustrated renters into other areas.
“The sales market is also performing well. The number of apartment resales doubled in 2015, over the previous year, and this growth will continue into 2016 because there’s a lot of pent-up demand from buyers. We are selling high quality properties, in core city centre locations, for the same prices that we achieved at the peak of the pre-recession market, with interest coming from both investors and owner-occupiers.
“The good news is that in 2016, supply will start returning to sustainable historic levels, as work starts on several new schemes, although it’s likely to be early 2017 before many of these are ready to move into. It’s also significant that most of these developments are likely to be of a very high standard, driven by architects and developers who have considerable experience in other markets and areas.
“In Holbeck alone the £80m transformation of Tower Works will provide over 150 apartments and townhouses and the Iron Works will see 58 apartments built along with 15 townhouses. Planning was also recently approved for 77 new homes on The Calls and Hunslet Riverside will start to see real change when CITU starts work building more than 300 passive homes.”
Finally Jonathan added: “Prices in Leeds city centre have historically underperformed against those being achieved in the centres of York and Harrogate but we believe that the quality of these new Leeds developments will command a premium and that Leeds as the regional capital, can and will compete with these locations.”
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