The 5 Best Areas For Student Property Investment In Leeds

With over 60,000 students enrolled across two universities, Leeds’ student property market can be a highly lucrative spot for investors.

But knowing where to put your money matters.

After all, not all areas are created equal. Choosing the wrong location can lead to higher vacancy rates and lower rental yields. However, armed with local knowledge, you can mitigate these risks, maximise your investment’s potential, and make better-informed, data-backed decisions.

That’s why, in this guide, we’ll explore the 5 best areas for student property investment Leeds has to offer, based on yield data and – most importantly – where students genuinely want to live for their second, third, and post-graduate years (most first years in Leeds are placed in university-owned halls of residence).

We’ll cover:

  • What makes Leeds a good choice for student property investors?
  • The top 5 locations to consider, and the data behind them
  • Tips for maximising your investment returns in these areas

So, why Leeds?

Before we go any further, let’s first take a look at what makes Leeds a good choice for student property investment.

First, Leeds is one of the UK’s major student cities, with two main universities: The University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University.

Together, they host a population of over 60,000. Smaller institutions, such as Leeds Trinity and Leeds Arts University, contribute a further 10,000.

This is similar to the student numbers found in Manchester and Liverpool.

Moreover, students love Leeds. Annual research from StudentCrowd.com ranked Leeds as the 5th Uni city in the UK, based on thousands of reviews. This helps create a strong reputation as one of the best student experiences in the country, which, in turn, attracts even more applicants.

Leeds is investing heavily in student housing to meet the growing demand – particularly in the form of Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA). Developers delivered over 2,300 new beds in 2023/2024 academic year, but it’s still not quite enough.

Finally, the average rental yield across all of Leeds’ most popular student areas is 8.9% (based on the data in the section below). This is a strong average, meaning properties are likely to provide investors with profitable returns on a monthly basis.

The 5 Best Areas For Student Property Investment In Leeds

So, where are the best areas for a student investment property in Leeds?

The thing to keep in mind with Leeds is that the student areas are primarily based in a pocket of the northwest of the city. They’re tightly packed and overlap with one another, often sharing the same postcodes as a result.

Even so, we’ve pulled out the five top postcodes in the table below:

Postcode Area Avg Price Avg Rent (pm) Avg Yield
LS3 Burley/Woodhouse 187,580 1,982 12.00%
LS4 Burley/Kirkstall 219,251 1,759 9.60%
LS2 City Centre/Woodhouse 167,050 1,196 8.60%
LS6 Burley/Hyde Park/Headingley/Woodhouse 304,805 1,936 7.60%
LS1 City Centre 208,690 1,157 6.70%

Now, let’s take a deeper look at each of the areas mentioned in the table.

Hyde Park

Ask any student what living in Hyde Park entails, and you’ll be astounded by the responses.

It is the sought-after spot – especially for those attending the University of Leeds. Renowned for its pubs, live music events, and late-night house parties, demand from younger students looking to immerse themselves in the epicentre of student culture far outstrips supply – leading to some of the city’s highest rental yields and year-on-year growth in rents.

Such is the reputation of Hyde Park that the online student news publication, The Tab, ran an April Fool’s joke last year that the local authorities were seeking to impose an 11 pm curfew.

Of course, prospective investors should keep this in mind. Hyde Park isn’t a smart choice if you want to minimise maintenance costs and avoid the hassle of dealing with mess or damage. Regardless, all student landlords should ensure they have adequate deposits and provisions in place.

Another reason Hyde Park is popular is the location. Burley Park train station provides access to the city centre in just five minutes, while the area is also within a 20-minute walk of the city centre, making it convenient for students to commute. The nearby Woodhouse Moor is a major attraction on sunny days.

The housing in Hyde Park primarily consists of tightly packed Victorian terraces that have been converted into student HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation).

Headingley

Headingley is an incredibly popular area for students in Leeds, offering a slightly calmer alternative to the antics of Hyde Park.

It’s a 40-minute walk (or 20-minute bus ride) from the city centre and boasts a bustling town centre filled with independent shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants. In fact, the bars and pubs are a major draw, with the area forming the start of the famous Otley Run – a 15-pub crawl that draws students, locals, and day-trippers alike.

Frequent bus services mean students can easily commute to the campuses and other amenities in the city centre. Additionally, the north end of Headingley houses one of Leeds Beckett’s campuses, putting it in easy reach for those studying there.

The housing market in Headingley is mixed. It’s mostly terraces and semi-detached houses, but there are flats and PBSA for those interested. This variety provides ample investment opportunities, catering to different preferences and budgets.

Woodhouse

Woodhouse sits between Hyde Park and the edge of Leeds city centre, curving around the A58 in a horseshoe shape.

The main University of Leeds campus sits in the middle, making the area attractive to students looking to live close to lecture halls. However, it’s not as dominated by students as Hyde Park, and there’s a sizable population of post-grads and young professionals wanting easy access to the centre.

Woodhouse is split across a few postcodes, with parts of it falling into LS2 with the city centre, LS3 with Burley, and LS6 with Hyde Park and Headingley. These all perform well for investors, but LS3 is a standout with a 12% average rental yield and average prices just shy of £190,000 (the second-lowest in the table).

Therefore, Woodhouse and LS3 represent some of the best value-for-money student property Leeds has.

Burley & Kirkstall

Burley, and Kirkstall to the north, have a significant student population.

Sitting just west of Hyde Park and Headingley, these two areas are quieter – proving more attractive to students in their final years, those on post-graduate courses, or recent grads entering the world of work.

As a result, the yields are excellent. Similar to Woodhouse, part of Burley falls into LS3 with its 12% average yields, although most of the area falls into LS4 (9.6% yield) and LS6 (7.6% yield).

Burley Road and the connecting streets are good areas to focus your search if you’re looking around here.

City Centre

Split across LS1 and LS2, the city centre is on the rise as a location for the student market.

As we mentioned earlier, Leeds is forging ahead with adding to the city’s stock of PBSA. This is because local authorities realise the value of moving students towards specialist property developments in the centre.

Not only does it put students closer to university campuses, but it reduces the number of noise complaints and friction with local residents. It also opens up more housing to workers and families, which has a direct impact on income for the council (as students are exempt from council tax) – meaning more money for running vital services.

Traditionally, PBSA has seen high demand from international students willing to pay a premium for better living standards. However, as the difference between rental prices narrows, more developments open up, and student preferences change (younger generations are drinking less, for example), we’ll likely see a more diverse range of tenants.

Our recommendation?

Keep your eyes peeled for the latest projects. There is a national trend of students looking towards PBSA.

Summary

So there you have it, the five best areas to buy student property in Leeds. The right area for you will depend on your budget and your goals.

Currently, LS3 is offering the greatest yield for investors. However, it will be interesting to see how this changes long-term, especially with the rise of PBSA in the city centre and changes to Leeds’ student population.

If you’re starting to search for student property, either to extend your portfolio or to start your investment journey, we can help.

We specialise in residential and student buy-to-let across the UK. Our role is to help you find a suitable property for your budget and goals, and then guide you through the purchase process. We’re ethical, transparent, and free (we earn a commission from the property developers we work with).

You can reach us by filling in the form below, and we’ll call you back to organise a free consultation.

About Our Data

The data in this article is accurate as of June 2024. We’ll update this report next year, in 2025, with the latest insights and fresh data.

Dive Deeper

Want to learn more about the Leeds property market? Then read our guide to the best buy-to-let areas in Leeds.

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