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Northern property investment hotspots lead the way

New figures from the fast-growing UK property portal OnTheMarket highlight the top investment hotspots for the second quarter of the year, revealing a continued north/south divide in the property market.

Bradford retains top spot
Bradford has been named the leading investment hotspot in the country for the second consecutive quarter, driven by buyers seeking more affordable alternatives to Leeds. Blackpool moved up to second place from fifth, and Rochdale made a remarkable leap from 23rd to third place.

Plymouth, the only southern location in the top five, jumped from 22nd to fourth place. Leicester also entered the top five, rising from ninth in the first quarter.

North/South divide persists
OnTheMarket’s analysis shows that the north remains dominant in the property investment scene, with vibrant and affordable locations attracting the most activity. Only one southern location made it into the top 10.

The portal attributes this trend to 14 base rate increases since December 2021 and the post-pandemic shift towards remote working, allowing buyers to consider more distant, less expensive areas. Higher borrowing costs have also influenced buyers’ decisions to seek value further from city centres.

Significant movers and shakers
Notable movers in the index include Wakefield, which soared from 30th to ninth place, and Birmingham, which dropped significantly from 23rd to 43rd. Wigan saw a cooling demand, falling from second to 15th place, while Liverpool dropped from 11th to 30th. Worthing, a southern hotspot, plummeted from 20th to 53rd, and Brighton was named the ‘coolest’ hotspot on the list.

In London, fluctuations were less pronounced. Newham entered the top five for the first time, moving from 10th to fifth. Hounslow, however, fell from fourth to ninth, and boroughs like Lambeth, Southwark, and Merton all dropped four places.

Expert insights on Rochdale’s rise
Andrew Cardwell, managing director at Cardwells Estate Agents in the North West, commented on Rochdale’s impressive rise: “Rochdale’s jump of 20 spots to third place is impressive but not surprising. Rochdale, along with Greater Manchester towns such as Bolton and Bury, have fared well recently. Earlier this year, Rochdale was recognised as one of the most affordable places to buy a property, with an average house price of around £206,000. It offers excellent value for money, is within easy reach of Manchester city centre, and has beautiful countryside.”

He added, “Since the pandemic, working habits and requirements for many have evolved, and working from home has become much more prominent. This means people can look further away from the city centre, targeting areas which offer good value for money, beautiful countryside and the type of property that may not be available or affordable in a city centre.”

OnTheMarket’s latest index underscores the enduring appeal of northern locations for property investors, with affordability and remote working trends playing a significant role in shaping buyer behaviour.