Bradford is overdue for regeneration, and now it is finally happening; the often overlooked northern city is currently undergoing a 3 billion GBP facelift. It is widely expected that the regeneration will push up rental rates and property prices in the city.
With a population of just over 500,000 and a university, Bradford is not only one of the fastest growing economies in Yorkshire and Humberside, but has been identified as one of the top six cities in the UK for economic growth. It is also forecast to have a steady increase in jobs over the next ten years.
In addition it is situated in some of the most beautiful countryside in Britain, and the city centre has over 6500 listed buildings, many more than Manchester and Liverpool.
There are currently a number of commercial and residential projects underway, which will not only raise the profile of this culturally diverse city, but will also make it a far more attractive prospect to businesses and visitors.
Much of the architecture in the city centre is Victorian, and when the regeneration is finished it should look softer and more European in feeling; with pedestrianised streets providing opportunities for markets and other outdoor events. The regeneration has already started; some of the street furniture is in place and some of the trees planted.
Housing retail giants like Debenhams and Marks and Spencer, as well as recreational facilities and residential developments, the Westfield Group's 320 million GBP redevelopment of the Broadway shopping centre promises to become one of Bradford's landmark buildings.
Another exciting development is The Channel, which is the development of the canal through the city centre which will provide a village-like atmosphere with retail units, studios, cafes and restaurants.
Expansion of the Leeds Bradford International Airport is due for completion in 2011, with much of the work already having been finished. It is hoping to attract over seven million visitors by 2015, and roads and transportation to and from the airport have been improved. The 28 million GBP project should attract business and leisure travellers into the area.
Housing in Bradford is still affordable, because demand has remained steady and the market is not oversupplied, prices are holding firm against the current downward pressure.
There is already a lot more interest in apartments in the city centre as it is rapidly becoming a far more desirable place to live. Occupancy is currently at 98-99% and demand for rental properties is at a 2 year high, with apartments seeing particularly high demand. Just how rapidly demand is growing can be seen in the 2% rise in rental rates recorded in the final quarter of 2010.
The UK is currently divided, with London prices having held firm and even experienced growth, whilst the rest of the country has suffered. Property experts are predicting increasing investment in UK cities offering low priced property, and the extensive regeneration of Bradford is sure to make it a favourite. Therefore, buying now, before the incoming hordes would seem to be a wise decision.
- Tuesday 08 March 2011