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Hull, UK: Growth and a rising profile for this City of Culture
February 2, 2018Article by Paul Avery
The city of culture designation has been tremendously successful in raising Hull’s national profile and enriching its leisure offering. That is expected to keep driving demand for housing from newly appreciative outsiders and locals proudly choosing to put down roots. But in terms of the property market, it is mere window dressing.
It is Hull’s well-timed pivot to the renewables industry that has set the city apart from its neighbours in a deep, structural way, and should remain a source of jobs – the lifeblood of the housing market – for decades to come. The network effects of embracing a future-oriented economy are already bearing fruit, with new firms springing up to provide services to Siemens and its ilk, and further infrastructure projects designed to lock in Hull’s specialisation coming online. Success in key strategic industries lies behind the origin and longevity of places like Hull, and it is rare these days to see a northern city reinvent itself so skilfully.
With that in mind, investors should be targeting young professional and graduate renters with fresh and modern properties that stand out, either due to their finish or location (must be accessible to the out of town nature of new employment opportunities yet within reach of the cultural sphere). The University is growing in stature so a property that can cater to international students is a plus, although buying within a student-specific development limits your options somewhat.
Hull is one of the most affordable major towns in the UK (with beautiful flats comfortably under £100,000 (for now)), so investors don’t necessarily want to target the really flashy end for rentals, given that potential tenants in that wage-band may prefer simply to buy. It is a delicate balance, but Hull is an excellent bet right now for landlords.
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