We are expecting big things in the city centre market this year. After a number of quiet years during which demand has remained very high whilst new supply has plummeted, we are finally going to see some new developments taking off. Since the downturn of 2007, the impact of which was felt for five or six years, we have become accustomed to living off scraps of new activity but that is about to change.
“A wave of small but perfectly formed new developments are beginning to take shape and will add much needed interest and vitality to a market which is critical to the commercial well-being of the city as a whole. It is essential that the incessant stream of inward relocators, drawn to Leeds by opportunity and prospects, are able to secure good quality rental accommodation close to where they work.
It is inevitable in our view that there will be further growth in both sales and rentals values in Leeds city centre next year, as we continue to catch up with our peer cities such as York, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham, and as we get more and more comfortable with the fact that Leeds is fast becoming a city of great meaning and significance.
We are looking forward to working on a number of very exciting new developments including Victoria House, Iron Works, Kirkstall Forge, Tower Works and 53 The Calls, which will provide the next wave of much-needed housing and have very high hopes for Headingley, which is showing strong signs of a return to its glorious past when it was the suburb of choice for aspirational house-holders.
The migration of more and more students to purpose built accommodation in the city centre has created short-term challenges around empty properties and change of use, but this will change in demographic and the area will return to a more equitable and sustainable mix of occupiers, which will in turn fuel a more dynamic and sustainable economy.
Here’s to a happy new year!