A vibrant, diverse town in Bedfordshire, Luton is situated 30 miles north of London and 22 miles south of Milton Keynes. With direct rail links from Luton to London in just 23 minutes, the town is an attractive destination for both local people and those looking to commute into the capital.
The International Business Times rates Luton in the top five of the UK’s highest growth areas. The town currently has a population of 214,700 people; experiencing growth of 1.8% between 2014 and 2015. This population growth is significantly faster than the national rate of 0.8% and highlights the town’s growing popularity.
Why invest in property in Luton?
Between 2014 and 2015 landlords in Luton saw rents increase by 10.4% alongside increased demand from professionals looking to commute into the capital. Savills reports that, in the coming years, Luton will continue to be in the country’s top 10 locations for rental growth. Rents in the town are increasing four times faster than in the capital, where historically higher rates are pushing more and more residents out into the commuter belts.
Lucian Cook, Savills UK head of residential research, stated:
“The residential investment focus is likely to shift to the regional cities where, in comparison to London, the cost of entry is lower while both income yields and the capacity for medium term price growth are higher”.
With increasing demand and rising rental prices, property in Luton is becoming increasingly valuable as an investment proposition. In 2016, The Office for National Statistics reported a record 21.8% rise in property prices in the town. This is the second largest growth in the whole of the UK and follows similarly impressive increases of 18.5% in 2015. Prices are predicted to continue climbing by a remarkable 41% by 2019, providing property investors with outstanding capital appreciation potential.
One of the town’s greatest attributes is its connectivity. Commuters living in Luton enjoy easy access to central London, as well as excellent road, rail and air links. Recent improvements to the M1 motorway have significantly improved journey times for motorists, while the M25 and A1 roads provide connectivity whether travelling north or south.
Luton also boasts three dedicated railway stations which, from 2020 will offer improved rail services and cut journey times from Central London significantly.
In 2015 London Luton Airport was the fastest growing airport in the UK and is currently the country’s 5th busiest, employing over 9,000 people. The airport is currently undergoing major investment which will increase capacity to around 18 million passengers, create 10,000 new jobs and add approximately £1 billion to the UK economy.
For property investors these improvements to the town’s connectivity will mean increased demand for accommodation from workers, visitors and commuters. These increases to connectivity, combined with rising rental returns and impressive capital appreciation potential are making investment property in Luton increasingly attractive to buy-to-let investors.