10 Compelling Reasons to Invest in Property in York

12 Oct 2023


  1. Historical Significance
  2. Strong Rental Market
  3. Tourism Hub
  4. Excellent Transportation Links
  5. Thriving Job Market
  6. Cultural Attractions
  7. Quality of Life
  8. Steady Property Appreciation
  9. Education
  10. Diverse Housing Options

Are you considering buying property in York? The historic city, nestled in the heart of North Yorkshire, has become an increasingly attractive destination for property investment.  

With its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant community, York offers a unique blend of old-world charm and modern conveniences. Let's explore the ten reasons why investing in property in York is a smart choice in 2023. 

1. Historical Significance

York's history is a captivating tapestry that stretches back over two millennia. Originally founded by the Romans in AD 71 as "Eboracum," it served as a pivotal stronghold in the Roman Empire. The city witnessed the coronation of Emperor Constantine the Great and bore witness to the Viking invasion during the 9th century, becoming known as "Jorvik."  

Throughout the medieval period, York was a thriving hub of trade, religion, and culture, home to the magnificent York Minster, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. The Wars of the Roses saw York as a central battleground. It played a significant role during the English Civil War and was a key center of the railway revolution during the 19th century.  

Today, York's streets and buildings whisper tales of its storied past, making it a living museum of history and a remarkable place to explore and learn about the fascinating events and people that have shaped its destiny. 

Owning a property in such a beautiful place carries with it a profound sense of pride and connection to centuries of tradition. A property in York is not just a piece of real estate; it's a piece of history.

Residential area of York city

2. Strong Rental Market

York's rental market is a promising prospect for buy-to-let investors, with average rents growing by 4.1% in 2022.  

The city’s rental market benefits from high demand due to its popularity among students, professionals, and families, but it faces challenges with a limited supply, causing higher rents and lower vacancy rates.  

According to ONS (Office for National Statistics), the population of York has reached 213,070, which represents a growth of more than 7% over the last decade and is expected to increase steadily and reach 218,680 residents by 2035. 

In turn, between 2011 and 2021, a mere 299 new homes were built annually on average. In 2018, the city’s 15-year local plan set an ambitious goal of constructing 877 new homes per year, a 193% increase compared to the average number built in the decade leading up to 2021. Should the current trends continue, York is expected to face a deficit of 3,497 homes by 2031. 

The forecast for York's rental market is therefore positive, with rents expected to continue rising. Specific areas in York, such as student-centric neighborhoods like Heslington and Fulford, professional areas like the city center, Heslington, and Holgate, as well as family-friendly regions like Acomb and Bishopthorpe, are considered attractive for buy-to-let options.

3. Tourism Hub

York is a popular tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors each year. The city offers a plethora of museums, cultural events, and immersive experiences that captivate visitors. 

 It has also been labelled the "UK's Most Romantic Destination" by the Luxury Lifestyle Magazine Readers' Travel Awards due to its charm. 

Its strategic location in the heart of England, with excellent transport connections, makes it accessible to travelers from across the UK and beyond.  

This combination of historical allure and accessibility makes York an ideal location for short-term rentals, as tourists seek convenient and comfortable accommodations while exploring the city's timeless charm. 

Owning a property in a city known for its tourism means you can tap into the lucrative short-term rental market through platforms like Airbnb. It is not uncommon for short-term rental property owners in York to achieve yields in the range of 5% to 10% or even higher in some cases. However, it's important to note that these numbers are approximate, and actual yields can fluctuate.  

To get precise and up-to-date information on short-term rental yields in York, consult our preferred property management company, Complete Prime Residential who have a deep understanding of the current market conditions and can provide you with specific data and insights tailored to your investment goals and property type.

Aerial view of York Railway Station at night

4. Excellent Transportation Links

York enjoys excellent transportation connections, making it a strategic hub in the north of England. Its central location within the country is enhanced by a well-developed network of transportation links. 

 The city benefits from regular and fast train services, with York Railway Station being a major interchange on the East Coast Main Line, providing easy access to London, Edinburgh, and many other cities. 

Additionally, the road infrastructure is robust, with major motorways like the A1(M) and the M62 nearby, facilitating convenient road travel.  

For international connections, Leeds Bradford Airport is within a reasonable distance, offering flights to various destinations. Within the city, a comprehensive public transportation system, including buses, makes it easy for residents and visitors to navigate York and its surroundings.  

These transportation options make York an accessible and well-connected destination for both residents and travelers alike.

5. Thriving Job Market

York is actively shaping its future with a dynamic job market that extends beyond its traditional strengths. While finance, tourism, and education continue to thrive, the city is witnessing a burgeoning technology and digital sector, driven by startups and digital agencies.  

York's economy is primarily driven by six key sectors: Financial & Professional Services, Real Estate, Biotechnology, Digital, Creative, IT, Rail, and Tourism & Hospitality, all of which significantly contribute to the city's growth.  

The finance & professional services sector employs about 8.2% of York's workforce (approximately 9,700 people) and contributes £635 million (12.1%) to the GVA.  

Real Estate adds £695 million to York's economy, while Biotechnology employs around 16,000 people and contributed approximately £800 million to the GVA in 2021, benefitting from the region's agricultural, manufacturing, and food production resources. 

The digital, creative, and IT sector features over 250 companies employing 3,000 people and has seen the biggest area of economic growth in recent years, bringing in £165 million to the city annually (2015). 

The rail sector employs roughly 5,500 individuals in rail-related roles, with Yorkshire and the Northeast hosting 14% of the UK's rail industry jobs.  

The tourism and hospitality sector sustains about 24,000 jobs and contributes £765 million to York's GVA, largely due to the city's rich heritage and history, making it the UK's foremost heritage city.

6. Cultural Attractions

York has been recognized as a leading cultural destination, with awards such as the "Best UK City" for history and heritage by the Group Leisure & Travel Awards. 

 It offers a plethora of cultural attractions, including the iconic York Minster, the Jorvik Viking Centre, and the National Railway Museum.  

Residents can enjoy a rich cultural life without leaving their doorstep.

7. Quality of Life

With its picturesque streets, green spaces, and the River Ouse meandering through the city, York offers an exceptional quality of life. The city consistently ranks high in quality-of-life surveys. Residents and visitors alike benefit from the city's well-preserved heritage, which provides a picturesque backdrop for daily life.  

The city's compact size makes it easily navigable by foot or bicycle, reducing commute times and promoting a healthy lifestyle.  

The abundance of green spaces, such as Rowntree Park and the city's ancient city walls, offers tranquil escapes within an urban setting.  

A thriving cultural scene, excellent educational institutions, and a diverse array of restaurants and shops cater to a wide range of interests.  

The strong local economy, bolstered by tourism, education, and emerging industries, ensures ample job opportunities.  

These factors, combined with York's welcoming and tight-knit community, contribute to a high quality of life that continues to draw people from all walks of life to call this historic city home.

8. Education

York boasts a diverse and robust educational landscape, offering a wide range of educational opportunities.  

The city is home to two prestigious universities, the University of York and York St John University, collectively enrolling over 25,000 students.  

These institutions consistently rank among the top universities in the UK, attracting both domestic and international students.  

Additionally, York has a strong foundation in primary and secondary education, with numerous high-performing schools serving the local community.  

The city's commitment to education is underscored by its impressive library system, including the renowned York Minster Library.  

With a focus on quality education from primary to higher education levels, York provides fertile ground for academic growth and contributes significantly to the city's vibrant and intellectual atmosphere. 

An aerial view of the Ron Cooke Hub and surrounding buildings at The University of York Campus East

9. Steady Property Appreciation

The housing market in York has persistently suffered from a supply shortage, which has placed significant pressure on house prices and rental rates.  

As a result, the city saw a substantial 29.2% increase in average property prices between 2017 and 2022.  

Homebuyers in York face fierce competition, with properties typically selling 10 days faster than in Leeds (81 days), Liverpool (103 days), and Newcastle (87 days). 

Looking ahead, Oxford Economics suggest that York's property market will continue to thrive, with 12% forecasted growth between 2024 to 2027, higher than many other markets set to experience more subdued growth on a national level. 

As such, York remains an enticing prospect for those seeking capital growth and solid returns in the property market. 

10. Diverse Housing Options

Accommodation options in York are as diverse as the city itself, catering to a wide range of preferences and needs. The city offers a mix of historical charm and modern convenience, with accommodation choices including beautifully preserved period homes and apartments nestled in the city's historic center.  

For students, purpose-built student accommodation and shared housing are readily available, given the presence of two renowned universities. Beyond the city center, there are modern suburban developments and family homes, providing more space and tranquility.  

Additionally, York boasts a thriving short-term rental market, featuring Airbnb listings and vacation rentals that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the city's rich history.  

Whether one seeks the allure of centuries-old architecture or the comforts of contemporary living, York offers a diverse array of accommodation options to suit every taste and lifestyle. 

In conclusion, York is a city that combines rich history, economic opportunities, and a high quality of life, making it an ideal destination for property investment. Whether you're looking for rental income or a place to call home, York's unique blend of old-world charm and modern living ensures that your investment is well-placed in this vibrant city.  

Start exploring your property investment options in York today to secure your piece of this captivating city's future. 

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