The ‘Northern Powerhouse’ started life as a political initiative to devolve some power away from London to regional authorities in the north of England. This meant great cities like Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Hull and Sheffield would receive more responsibilities and more funding.

Dubbed ‘Britain’s powerhouse’, these former industrial cities and towns are now benefitting from huge government investment into local infrastructure. This has encouraged new businesses, job creation and population growth.

This healthy injection of government cash into unique, culturally-rich and characterful cities has spurred on the local economies and increased the demand for rented property.

For those seeking untapped buy to let property opportunities, you need to look at these so-called Northern Powerhouse cities and towns.

High Rental Demands

As the North’s big cities expand, so do the rental demands. Even smaller commuter towns are seeing uplifts in demand as more people flood to the north for work. According to recent studies, experts predict that the next decade will see Manchester’s population increase by 128,000 along with an estimated 110,000 jobs.

Booming Local Economies

A booming local economy is also reason enough for investors to consider the big northern cities as a great place to buy. Greater Manchester’s gross value added has now reached a higher level than that of the Northeast, West Yorkshire or Merseyside and is set to grow by another third (to £75bn) by 2024.

Collectively, the cities and towns of the Northern Powerhouse region are becoming a formidable economic force in the UK. When asked about the economic health of the region, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond said: “If the Northern Powerhouse were a country, it would be among the biggest economies in Europe.”

Lincoln city from above

Buy to let property opportunities in Manchester

Manchester has led the way in the economic resurgence of the Northern Powerhouse region. The city offers a wide range of property types, with just over a quarter of properties sold represented by smaller acquisitions such as flats and terraced houses. 28% of sales in the past 12 months (2017) were flats, achieving an average sales price of £161,548. Houses achieved an average price of £214,260. Flats are currently 26% cheaper than average prices for equivalent properties in England and Wales. Terraced houses in Manchester are 11% cheaper than the average.

Buy to let opportunities in Leeds and Sheffield

Buy to let properties in other historical northern cities are not too dissimilar to that of Manchester. Leeds and Sheffield have also become property hot spots due to urban regeneration projects and investment in new business quarters.

Once industrial hubs of the UK, factory and inner-city spaces have been converted into retail and leisure facilities. Sheffield is currently in the midst of a city centre regeneration project.  The scheme, known as West Bar Square, is a mix of office space, high quality apartment blocks, a four-star hotel, restaurants, shops and public space.

In Leeds, a proposed expansion of the city centre, the Southbank project, will boost the local economy by providing 35,000 new jobs in the city. The project will also include the creation of at least 8,000 new homes, a new city park and a reimagined River Aire waterfront.

Leeds property sales reflect that of other northern cities with properties ideal for investors selling for under the national average. 17% of sales in the past 12 months were flats, achieving an average sale price of £121,867. Houses sold for an average price of £183,300.

Sheffield buy to let opportunities follow suit although prices are incrementally higher. In 2017 15% of property sales were flats, at an average sales price of £123,107. Houses achieved an average price of £173,462.

Essentially, prices for smaller properties in all three cities are significantly cheaper than UK averages for like-for-like properties. This represents an opportunity for buy to let investors hoping to pick up a bargain in cities with developing retail and tourist sectors.

An enticing combination of new jobs and affordable places to live in these cities is attracting more and more people looking for work as-well as students and young families.

Houses in Doncaster

Suburban Trickle-Down

With these Northern cities prospering, surrounding smaller satellite towns are seeing benefits too. The bigger cities act as hubs that directly affect the economic strength of smaller towns in the suburban areas around them. As a result, economic trickle down has occurred creating untapped opportunities for property investment.

Halifax, Doncaster and Lincoln all offer affordable housing for commuters as well as exciting employment opportunities in developing local economies. Due to recent investment from the government into local infrastructure and the regeneration of once industrial spaces, they are flourishing as vibrant, dynamic towns in their own right.


A huge £41 million city centre revamp, a strong rental market and established transport links to Leeds, Manchester and the Greater North makes Halifax a key opportunity for property investors looking for high yields.


Renowned for its markets, horse racing, railways and architecture, Doncaster is set to undergo a £20 million town centre redevelopment. The city is a key growth area in the Northern Powerhouse and offers a huge amount of investor potential.


With rapidly improving commuter routes into London, an increasing student population and a large-scale city centre renovation underway, there’s never been a better time to invest in Lincoln property.

As retail space has become available, new businesses and international franchises have set up branches in these towns. This, in turn, has created new jobs and stimulated new communities of young professionals and families. These smaller northern satellite locales represent enticing opportunities for property investors as rental property demand increases.

Halifax skyline

How we can help you

We are specialist property developers with many years’ experience creating highly successful property schemes across the north. We design modern, stylish and lucrative homes and investment opportunities in key UK locations. With a high percentage of property in the Northern Powerhouse region, we have the local knowledge and industry experience that enable us to offer the best opportunities for investors as well as the best advice.

Our focus is on providing well thought out, market competitive opportunities for our clients and customers. So, whether you’re looking to purchase as an investor, or you’re looking to buy a home, it’s our mission to ensure you get the best quality property for the most competitive price. Get in touch with our team today.