My Bradford Experience.
I was approached by my Director to promote a city centre apartment project in Bradford. I immediately envisaged a grey, industrial city with lots of tired buildings. When I went to visit the site, I didn’t know what to expect, but tried to keep an open mind. As soon as I arrived, I realised my first ideas of the city were totally wrong!
Bradford is at its infancy of a 10 year regeneration programme, and the effects of this are already clear to see. Yes, there are lots of old properties in the city – there are over 100 listed buildings here, but with over £500 million of investment spent in 2014, the city centre has been transformed. I was immediately impressed.
A fact that may surprise you is that Bradford currently boasts the 8th largest economy in England. With economic growth outstripping national averages since 2008, big businesses are flocking to the area.
Not wanting to miss out, the iconic shopping centre giant, Westfield, has spent £260 million developing a 570,000 sq. ft. retail centre in the heart of Bradford which opens for trade in November. The eagerly awaited Bradford Broadway, is the flagship store for Westfield outside of London and will provide a significant boost to the area, creating thousands of jobs. The site is absolutely phenomenal, the investment in the buildings and surrounding infrastructure is clear to see.
After a brief tour of the area, and with a new perspective of Bradford, we went to visit the apartment project, titled The Xchange.
Directly opposite the Westfield Shopping Centre, the site’s location is outstanding. The acquisition is a real coup for the developer, who had a fight on their hands to secure the building – with high demand from a number of interested parties.
The former office block, will be converted into large one and two bedroom apartments – with the added addition of city centre parking – which is like gold dust in the area.
The ground floor has established retail units and a gym and the top floor boasts a rooftop garden with seating and water features. For the same rent, there is no other property in Bradford City Centre that offers such facilities.
With the fastest and youngest growing population outside of London and almost 50% of the population renting privately, it’s likely The Xchange will be oversubscribed. The apartments will appeal to the under 30’s age group looking for high quality, centrally located accommodation.
With a rental prices rising 11% in 2014, tenants are willing to spend more on better quality product and investors are ideally positioned to benefit from this and the level of demand.
Lots of investors miss a trick by not considering locations like Bradford, instead focusing on saturated city centres such as London and Leeds – where capital growth is limited. Bradford, and more notably The Xchange, provides huge potential for long-term income, capital growth and the security of “the Westfield effect”.
With property prices starting from as little as £54,950 for a one bedroom apartment & 250 year lease – it’s also an excellent development for first time property investors.
If you want to find out more about our investment properties at The Xchange in Bradford, please contact Lee on 01202 765011, or email [email protected].