With a reputation for coal mining, hard work and loyal working class people, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and the North East is shedding its old reputation to become a vibrant region for technology, digital industries, medical science and engineering. Almost 2 million people live within a 30 minute drive from Newcastle city centre and businesses and investors alike are being attracted to the city for its growing economy, highly skilled workforce, good international links and a number of excellent universities.
Here are the main reasons why people make the move and why, therefore, property in this area is a great investment.
Property prices are lower
This is quite probably the single biggest factor tempting people away from London. Commercial office space in the North East is approximately 30% cheaper than in other cities around the UK and is almost 68% cheaper than in the capital. Residential properties in the North East are also cheaper than in many other UK regions, at around 37% less than the national average.
This means that the region offers tremendous value to investors, especially buy-to-let investors, who can achieve rental yields far ahead of what can be expected in the Thames Valley. In particular, the North East has a cluster of University cities and towns including Newcastle, Northumberland, Teesside and Sunderland, where the combination of low property prices and a large (and growing) student population, create the perfect conditions for buy-to-let.
The North East has one of the fastest growing economies
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, the North East was pretty much synonymous with poverty and crime. Fast forward to today and its ancient cities have modernized to combine old and new. According to the recent Government statistics, the North East of England has one of the fast growing economies in all of the UK, estimated to be worth £35.5bn.
It is undergoing huge redevelopment and its thriving economy and pleasant environment routinely see it find a place in lists of the best places to live in the UK. Newcastle was recently voted as the best city for quality of life and also the UK’s happiest city. Durham has its famous University with a thriving commercial sector alongside it. Sunderland and Middlesbrough have been voted numbers 1 and 2 respectively as the best places to invest in student property, with an average gross annual rental yield of 10.6% (Sunderland) and 9.1% (Middlesbrough).
Local transport infrastructure is already good and getting better
Newcastle and the North East have excellent rail links to London, with journey times to London taking less than three hours. The North East also has a number of major ports and International Airports which offer flights to well over 100 destinations worldwide, making the North East a great gateway to Europe and the rest of the world. Whether it’s local, intra-city transport, national rail and road links, ferry links or air links, the North East has it all and it’s getting better all the time.
The amenities easily rival those available in the South East
It used to be the case that taking in certain major shows meant a trip to London – not any more. It’s pretty much guaranteed that any major artist who’s coming to the UK will put in some time at one of the North East’s major venues. Newcastle in particular is renowned for its cultural offerings including excellent nightlife, great restaurants, a large choice of retail outlets and of course, it’s sporting arenas. The city is also growing in popularity as a major city-break destination, with tourists flocking to Newcastle from destinations in Europe and beyond.
The North East has invested heavily in digital infrastructure
The North East has made huge investments in digital infrastructure in its attempt to become the UK’s main digital hub. As well as reliable and widely-available superfast broadband, the North East is home to some outstanding tech hubs such as Sage, Hewlett-Packard and 3D specialist ZeroLight who all contribute to the regions digital and IT sector, estimated to be worth £1.1bn to the North East of England’s economy by 2020.
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