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How Does Leeds Compare to Other Northern Cities?


Leeds is a thriving northern city with a booming economy and growing population. It has also been playing a key role in the government’s northern powerhouse strategy. But how does Leeds compare to other cities in the North? We look at some major factors like population, average rental yield and capital appreciation.


Leeds has a huge population and is one of the biggest cities in the UK. It has around 781,743 residents, which is far higher than any other Northern city. Manchester has a population of 541,263, Liverpool has 484,578 and York only has 208,367. Sheffield is closest with a population of 575,424 but still nowhere near the Leeds figure. Such a large population means a large demand for property, with an increasing number of people looking for high quality rental property.

Average Rental Yield

Leeds has an average rental yield of 4.29%. This is just higher than York, which is 4.20%, and Bradford which is 4.14%. Compared to other northern cities, this isn’t the highest rental yield. However, certain postcodes in Leeds have amazing rental yields, and the LS6 postcode topped the list for rental returns in 2016, with an almost 11% yield. This popular postcode boasts a combination of affordable properties and good rental income which make Leeds a great prospect for property investors. If you are looking for great Leeds rental yields, certain property investment companies like RW Invest have Leeds investment properties with guaranteed yields for a set period.

Average Property Price

The average house price in Leeds in September 2018 was £164,900. This is low compared to the UK average of £217,400. However, other cities in the North are famous for their reasonable property prices. In Sheffield the average house price is £139,500, in Newcastle it is £129,300 and in Liverpool it is £120,500. However, in Manchester it is £167,800, which is slightly higher than the Leeds price. Leeds is one of the more expensive Northern cities, however, it is also experiencing capital appreciation which may mean Leeds property is more profitable.

Capital Appreciation

Leeds is experiencing positive capital appreciation in its property prices, with a 4.3% rise over the last 12 months. This is higher than some northern cities such as Newcastle which had a 2.6% price rise. However, Liverpool had a price rise of 6.9% and Manchester of 6.2%.  Though we are comparing cities in the North, it is worth keeping in mind that house price growth in London is negative – currently 0.4% this year.

Transport Links

Leeds has excellent transport links both in the UK and overseas. Leeds is one of the country’s most accessible cities with direct trains to London in just over two hours and a location close to the M62 and M1. It also has Leeds Bradford International Airport which has direct flights to 13 destinations in the UK and 64 destinations around the world. It has also had a 12.9% increase in passengers from 2016-17, which was a bigger percentage increase than any other Northern city. Manchester airport passenger numbers only grew by 8.5% and Liverpool only by 2.6%.


Leeds is on course for a huge amount of regeneration and improvement, which means that it is an ideal location for investors. Compared to other cities which have already experienced the benefits of regeneration, Leeds is at the beginning of its journey. Planned projects include the South Bank Project, Temple Quarter and the Tetley Brewery site. Looking at other cities in the North, projects like Liverpool One, MediaCityUK in Salford Quays and Spinningfields all show how much targeted regeneration can transform a city.


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