A thriving hub
Huddersfield, in West Yorkshire, is the UK’s 11th largest town – with a population of around 163,000.
Inhabited since 2000 BC, there was a significant Roman presence in the area; its real breakthrough period, however, came during the Industrial Revolution and with the arrival of the railways in the 1840s.
As a result of the wealth generated by its textile industry, Huddersfield has a legacy of stunning Victorian architecture – including a railway station that has been described as ‘a stately home with trains in it’.
Famous as a market town, a variety of indoor and outdoor markets are still held throughout the week. The Kingsgate Shopping Centre, the Piazza Centre and Byram Arcade mean Huddersfield is ranked no. 9 in Property Week’s Hot 100 UK retail locations.
Rich in its own green spaces, it also offers easy access to the Peak District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks, as well as the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The town is halfway between Leeds and Manchester, and just over 10 miles south of Bradford. It’s 2.5 miles from the West/East M62 and 10 miles from the North/South M1.
Less than three hours by train to London, Huddersfield is also served by domestic and international airports in Leeds Bradford (15.8 miles) and Manchester (28.7 miles).
Huddersfield has been ranked 3rd in the UK for quality of life.
The Huddersfield economy
The Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees, which includes Huddersfield, enjoys a unique location right at the heart of the North; part of the Leeds City Region LEP, it has access to 250,000 local businesses and a £150bn economy – with a workforce of over three million within an hour’s drive.
There are 13,930 employers based in the Huddersfield area, including 2,300 businesses in the creative and digital fields. It is the UK’s 3rd largest manufacturing employment base (after Birmingham and Leeds), with 30,300 jobs in the sector.
A £36 million community leisure centre opened in the summer of 2015, while work is due to start in 2017 on the £100 million HD One leisure complex – a 20 acre development, including a snow and ice sports centre and a four-star hotel.
A total of £500 million has been invested in new stock to upgrade and improve Huddersfield’s railway links.
The University of Huddersfield
The university can trace its roots back to 1841 with the establishment of the intriguingly titled Young Men’s Mental Improvement Society. After various incarnations, it acquired its current university status and identity in 1992. Today, it has a student population of nearly 20,000.
It won the Times Higher Education’s prestigious University of the Year award in 2013; the judges were impressed with Huddersfield’s dedication to teaching excellence, the establishment of a new innovation centre and its commitment to being “a university that is at the heart of its home town”.
It is rated 1st in England for professionally qualified teaching staff (HEFCE Dec 2016), and has been the UK’s leading university for National Teaching Fellowships, recognising Britain’s best Higher Education lecturers for the past nine years.
It has been recognised as England’s best provider of undergraduate teacher training by the Centre for Education and Employment Research, and is rated 3rd in the UK for student assessment and feedback.
In 2015, the independently-conducted International Student Barometer – a survey of 160,000 international students in 180 universities across the world – ranked the university best in the UK and 5th in the world overall as a place of overseas study.
A recent expansion programme has seen a £250 million investment in the Queensgate campus, and the university is estimated to contribute £300 million to the local economy.
Local student accommodation market
19,620 university students live in Huddersfield, 17% of them from overseas – but there are only 4,608 units of purpose built student accommodation.
This means that 76.5% of the student population have to make alternative arrangements – a higher number than the UK average.
Why student property is a sound investment
Higher education is big business for Britain; around 130 universities and specialist institutions offer first degrees and postgraduate studies to nearly 2.5 million students from all around the world.
UK student numbers have grown steadily over the last 15 years, and in 2015 the cap on admissions was removed. 2016 saw a record new intake of 424,000 – up by 3% (UCAS).
Furthermore, a UK qualification is much sought after around the world; apart from the US, no other country provides higher education to more overseas students than we do. In 2016, we played host to nearly 430,000 of them.
Whether from here or abroad, all students need somewhere to live, and Britain’s housing crisis means that the days of traditional student lets in ordinary residential properties are numbered.
Besides, the expectations of the 21st century student run higher; they look for high-quality, well-equipped modern accommodation. They want a wide range of onsite facilities, they want to be within walking distance of their lectures, they want a vibrant social life on their doorstep and they want as few domestic responsibilities as possible.
They aren’t likely to find any of this in a regular mid-terrace house, so their preference is for a studio or en-suite apartment in a purpose built block – and they’re prepared to pay a premium for it.
That’s why purpose built student accommodation has consistently been the top performing, highest-yielding UK property sector every year since 2011. However, it’s in chronically short supply – in fact, 74% of the UK’s students can’t find a suitable unit.
This is obviously bad news for a lot of students, but for investors it means high yields and occupancy levels of 99% (CBRE).
And for overseas investors, the relative weakness of the pound post-Brexit makes UK student property even more appealing.
Introducing Primrose Hill Student Residence
A 19th century chapel, Primrose Hill was converted into purpose built student accommodation in 2012 and has recently undergone a thorough professional refurbishment.
Just a nine-minute walk from the campus and within easy reach of the bustling town centre, the property consists of 51 en-suites, each with a cubicle shower, wash basin and toilet. All enjoy feature arched windows to create a bright and spacious atmosphere.
Shared onsite facilities include a cinema, games room, gym, laundry, study centre and secure bike storage.
- Immediate contracted NET yields: 8% (years 1-2), 9% (years 3-4), 10% (years 5-10)
- Operational development – 5 years proven yields
- Professionally managed for your effortless income
- No further costs during fixed income period
- Only 23.5% students with access to purpose built accommodation: critical undersupply
- Fully flexible resale options with inbuilt capital growth
- Available from £45,950