University Cities Worth Investing In

Universities are a major reason that the market for buy-to-let investment in Leeds, Liverpool, Leicester and Bradford make  ‘Northern Powerhouse’ cities looks so attractive. Cities such as Manchester are now seeing post graduate retention rates in the region of 50% which in turn generates around 17,000 students every year being added to the population and seeking quality apartments. This drives up both property prices and rental demand. Good quality apartments offer students secure, comfortable and conveniently-located lodgings. Among the interested investors will be parents looking to house their children for the duration of their studies, and secure themselves a long-term source of income after graduation. 

Let’s take a look at four university cities offering fantastic buy-to-let investment opportunities. 


What once was a hub for textile and shoe manufacturers has been transformed into St. George’s Cultural Quarter. There, Victorian buildings provide a home for the city’s artists and creatives. That’s where our Agin Court two-bed apartments are based. They each offer more than a thousand square feet of living space, with those near the top offering terraces and balconies, to boot. Each is just a short walk from both Leicester University and DeMontfort University.  


Leeds is home to two universities, both of which rank consistently well on league tables and student surveys. Leeds University was named University of the Year 2017 in the Time’s Good University Guide. The city’s regenerated South Bank is attractive to up-and-coming professionals. The Ellerby Road apartment complex boast two-bed apartments, each of which provides 732sq ft of living space, and will be ready to receive tenants soon. The city offers an excellent transport infrastructure, meaning that residents will be able to reach any part of campus via bus. 


A £4 million investment programme has helped transform Liverpool into one of the UK’s top business destinations. Old Hall Street is a seven-storey property whose central location makes it perfect for urban professionals. Just a seven-minute walk from Liverpool Lime Street Station, it’s convenient for frequent travellers – Manchester is just a forty-five minute train journey away, while London is reachable in around two hours. The city offers a high concentration of universities, with the red-brick University of Liverpool being perhaps the most prestigious. Old Hall Street is within walking distance of a host of bars, clubs, restaurants and shops – including the world-famous Cavern Club where the Beatles made their name. 


Bradford’s student population is among the country’s youngest, which makes the city’s future appear especially bright. The city centre has witnessed explosive growth in recent years, with hundreds of shops, bars and restaurants opening. Our York House apartments are located near Bradford College and the University of Bradford, making them an ideal residence for new students. They’re also easily reachable via the nearby Canal Road. Bradford city council have created ‘growth zone’ incentives to encourage the development of the city centre – which can only be a good thing for the value of nearby properties. 

Why are University Cities worth Investing In? 

Having completing their studies, many students will have formed an attachment to the cities in which they’ve been living for three years or more. They may have formed lasting friendships and romantic attachments, and so be unwilling to move away. Thus, those that don’t choose to go onto a postgraduate degree (or move back in with their parents) will often move into full-time employment in their university city. 

The rate of graduate retention varies enormously from region to region. This rate depends on many factors, but the availability of high-quality accommodation is inarguably key. While many landlords might hesitate to deal with students, highly-skilled young graduates they become will drive local growth, which makes investment in university cities more palatable. 

It won’t surprise many readers to learn that, according to the latest HESA Destinations of Leavers survey, the biggest winner is London – but some of the so-called ‘Northern Powerhouse’ cities aren’t far behind, with a retention rate hovering at around two thirds. As such, such cities contain some of the best UK property investments, and are well worth investigating! 

View our current property investment opportunities and speak to one of our investment directors!