Leeds is the third largest city in the United Kingdom, found in the north of England is the county of West Yorkshire. With a history stretching back to the 5th century, Leeds is rich with character which has continued to develop ever since its mention as a forest in the ‘Kingdom of Elmet.’
Leeds moved quickly with the local history and became a significant market town in the Middle Ages to take advantage of a booming agricultural trade, then shortly after accrued fame for its cloth and wool production. The Industrial Revolution gave Leeds a fantastic boost, bringing it into the 19th century as a powerful industrial centre with success now in engineering and metalwork. Since the decline of the British industry, Leeds has become the largest centre of business, legal and financial services outside of London.
Leeds is the ‘capital’ of the West Yorkshire area, being the chief centre of culture, finance and commerce in the locality. Enjoying a very central location in the northern reaches of England, Leeds is a popular stopover point for those travelling further towards Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow. With excellent motorway links, Leeds is just over 3 hours away from London and less than 2 hours from Birmingham. Other northern powerhouses such as Liverpool and Manchester are both less than 90 minutes from the city. Leeds City (railway) station is a busy hub which connects Leeds to most major UK cities, whilst the public transport systems make good use of the city’s ring road and A road network to supply local travel. Leeds-Bradford International Airport flies to Europe and North America and is just 20 minutes from the city.
The urban sub-division of Leeds is home to almost half a million people, whilst the district can boast over three quarters of a million residents. From the 2001 to the 2011 census, Leeds experiencing a 5% growth in population and these figures continue to rise as the city becomes an even more attractive to a wide demographic. Three universities ensure that a young and educated population is always present in the city, making Leeds an outstanding potential for student accommodation investment to developers. Estimates put the population of higher education students in Leeds to somewhere around 90,000 (which doesn’t include the colleges and sixth forms.)
Recent years have seen a significant increase in the levels of interest in the Leeds student property market, as investors became increasingly aware the widening gap between overall student numbers and the numbers of available student beds in the city. At present, the latest estimates show approximately 13,400 available student beds for the cities 55,000 full time students. With a students to beds ratio of 4.1, this is currently above the UK average, showing a distinct structual imbalance in availability.