As the second largest metropolitan borough by population, Leeds has been a staple of the British economy and lifestyle for hundreds of years. Making its wealth and fame during the Industrial Revolution as one of the world’s leading cities of textile and trade. Modern day Leeds maintains its commercial roots, as the largest business centre outside of the capital.
Despite its industrial roots, Leeds is within 50 miles of two National Parks and is just 100 miles from the Lake District. The River Aire also plays an important role in the character of the city, occupying a traditional role rather than a commercial one. Leeds-Bradford International Airport is the largest of its kind in the area and is less than 8 miles from the city centre, connecting residents and visitors to destinations around the world.
Defined as an "important node in the global economic system" – Leeds also houses the largest financial and legal services outside London. Second only to Birmingham, Leeds is the largest metropolitan borough in England with more than 750,000 residents. Traditionally in the county of West Yorkshire, Leeds is largely thought of as its own county due to the size of the region.
Numbers increase dramatically on a daily basis due to a large influx of commuters, with the ‘travel to work’ zone recognised to include much of Bradford, Kirklees and North Yorkshire. Numbers also swell during term time through the 3 universities in the city, contributing almost 65,000 students to the population for part of the year.
The city of Leeds has a full time student population of over 65,000, yet the number of available student apartments is estimated to be just under 14,000, which leaves a huge demand for student property investment in Leeds. With seven educational institues for full time study, the number of students coming to Leeds will swell over the next few years, which will give investors who purchase student property for sale in Leeds high rental yields for years to come.
In the past 100 years, Leeds has undergone a dramatic change from one of the manufacturing capitals of the country to become one of the strongest business centres in Europe. Recent figures put almost a quarter of all workers in public, education and health roles, with another 23% in banking and finance. The significant proportion of people employed in the financial sector is comparatively unique for the north of England – with Leeds housing headquarters or large bases for First Direct, Barclays, HSBC, Santander, Lloyds and RBS.
With over 65,000 students across its three universities, Leeds is one of the UK's traditional hubs of higher education and the third largest outside of London and Manchester. Understandably, there is today a considerable demand for student accommodation investments in Leeds and its surrounding suburbs, especially due to the larger number of overseas students who attended the cities universities.