Read our seven reasons why you should invest in Newcastle!
1. It’s a really friendly place to live
It's not just us saying this - Newcastle has been ranked as one of the happiest places to live in the UK by the European Commission, a point of view upheld by pretty much everything written or said about the city.
Affectionately known by locals as ‘the Toon’, Newcastle is compact, friendly and renowned for the welcome given by its Geordie residents. As the largest metropolitan city in the North East - with a thriving cultural life, affordable living costs and burgeoning investment levels - it’s a very attractive option for anyone looking to move away from the high prices of the capital, and a great spot for those using work-from-home as a way to achieve a better life-work balance.
2. Business investment is booming
The past decade has seen Newcastle emerge from its industrial past to embrace an economic transformation. As one of the English Core Cities Group working with, among others, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham, the focus is on turning the city into a regional powerhouse with increased economic and employment opportunities; to this end, billions of pounds of investment has been made into the area’s regeneration both from the Government and through business. The UK’s largest Freeport will be established in nearby Teeside, and Newcastle is also the nearest city to the country’s first battery gigaplant factory in Northumberland.
Newcastle has a reputation for innovation, and is home to four centres of national excellence, with the North East as a whole boasting the highest percentage of STEM and Computer Science students in the country. Backed by initiatives such as the Newcastle Science City project, business parks have taken over from the coal mines and ship yards; the largest of these, Cobalt Park, is thought to be the largest in the UK - it’s the workplace of over 14,000 people. Overall, the region radiates business confidence, with the ONS reporting significantly higher levels of optimism in the North East than the UK average.
3. It’s a compact city with great transport
The Tyne and Wear Metro system covers Newcastle and the four metropolitan boroughs of Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and the City of Sunderland. With 60 stations and one of the highest footfalls of light rail systems in the UK, it’s easy to cross the city for both work and leisure: its lines connect the city centre with Newcastle International Airport at one end and the beautiful North Sea coast seaside towns of Whitley Bay and Tynemouth at the other. For sports fans, St James’ Park, Gateshead Stadium and the Stadium of Light all have stops, and the routes also go through popular areas to live, including Jesmond and Gosforth. The Metro also intersects with Newcastle Central Station, a principle stop on the East Coast Main Line bringing both London Kings Cross and Edinburgh within easy reach, at 3 and 1.5 hours respectively. Durham is just down the line, just a ten minute journey by rail.
Newcastle International Airport is home to 16 airline partners and connects passengers to over 80 destinations for both business and leisure. It’s just fifteen minutes from the city centre by car, or an easy half hour on the tram. For those who prefer to drive, the A1(M) is a direct route to Leeds and Edinburgh, with the route to Scotland following the spectacular East coast past destinations such as Bamburgh and Alnwick.
4. House prices are low but set to increase
The North East is currently a hotspot for investment, due to low property prices and a high rental yield. Significant investment in jobs and regeneration is closing the economic gap between the North East and the rest of the UK, and population levels in the Newcastle area are rising. All of these together make Newcastle an attractive proposition for rental properties.
The HM Land Registry UK house price index rates the north-east of England as the cheapest place to buy property: the average price for a house here, new builds excluded, stands at £125,650, compared to the average across England of £251,233. Hometrack rate Newcastle as one of the cheapest major cities for property, with Right Move rating the average price of properties in the city at £235,190. This is compared to an average of £510,000 in London and £248,397 in Manchester.
Sales in Newcastle over the past year were strongest for terraced properties, which sold for an average price of £215,498. Semi-detached properties went for an average of £208,508, with flats following at £138,163. Sold prices in the city have been increasing at a steady rate, 14% up from 2019, and it’s been predicted that they’ll reach 21.5% by 2024.
5. Economic gains are pushing rental demand and driving strong rental yields
Track Capital have placed Newcastle at no.5 in a list of the top 25 postcode regions in the UK for rental yield in 2022. Narrowing the focus down to the North of England moves the city up to third spot, just behind Bradford and Manchester. With an average asking rent of £1,106pm, they calculate average yield to be 9.8%, just 0.3% behind Manchester; further analysis points to a current slight decline in house prices and upward trend in rental prices, creating a sweet spot for investment.
Employment opportunities in the city cover both public sector and financial and professional services, and construction, transport and automotive industries. This means there is a wide range of requirements within the rental market, from single young professionals to those looking for daily homes. As with many areas in the North East, demand currently outstrips supply.
6. There’s a wealth of students looking for somewhere to live
Newcastle is very much a student city, with three institutions in the city and others nearby. The University of Newcastle itself is a red brick university and Russell Group member, with an enrolment of 28,000 students. Northumbria University, located to the west of the city, attracts over 26,000 students and nearly 3,000 members of academic and research staff. Newcastle College, a further and higher education college, has up to 30,000 students spread over one main and four satellite campuses across Newcastle. Newcastle and Northumbria mainly offer university accommodation for only their first-year intake, with returning students looking for private rentals. Newcastle College has no accommodation provision, and works with accommodation providers and private letting agents to help students find properties.
Furthermore, Durham University is only ten minutes away by train, which opens up opportunities for students looking for better value rental accommodation in Newcastle.
Sandyford, Jesmond and Heaton are all popular areas for students. Fenham is an upcoming area, and there will always be students looking for accommodation within the city centre.
7. It’s a city celebrated for its culture and individual identity
The city was recently picked by Conde Nast Traveller magazine as one of the best UK city break destinations. For art, there’s both the long-established Laing Art Gallery whilst The Biscuit Factory is a contemporary gallery based in a renovated Victorian warehouse. It’s the largest commercial art, craft and design gallery in the UK. The Great North Museum: Hancock takes you on a journey through natural history and ancient civilisation, and the world-renowned Angel of the North is just a short drive away in neighbouring Gateshead. The city’s nightlife is legendary, with bars, clubs and ballrooms centred around the legendary Bigg market. The River Tyne and the Town Moor offer space to explore the outdoors, and Newcastle is within easy reach of both the unspoilt East Coast and beautiful surrounding countryside: the Northumberland National Park to the North, the North Pennines area of natural beauty and the Yorkshire Dales to the West, and the North York Moors to the South. The annual Great North Run is the largest half-marathon in the world, and let’s not forget the Magpies - Newcastle United have fixtures in the Premier League for over eighty years, and their city centre stadium is both the oldest and largest in the North East.
Popular areas to live:
City centre: a combination of period houses, new-build apartments and conversions makes the city centre a popular if pricey choice, with excellent rental yields. The Quayside, developed along the Tyne from the industrial dockside, has waterfront views and a desirable reputation.
- Jesmond: Newcastle’s most affluent area, attractive to young professionals and offering a good range of detached and semi-detached properties. It’s close to the centre and bordered to the west by The Town Moor.
Gosforth: a popular area, especially for families - schools here are particularly well-regarded. It’s out to the north of the centre, with two Metro stops and easy access to the airport. Housing is largely Victorian terraces and Edwardian villas, with the Garden Village a particularly distinctive location. There are also pockets of newer builds, with developers keen to snap up any available space.
- Heaton/Sandyford: both of the areas are close to the city centre, and popular with students and young professionals. South Heaton has mostly flats and terraces, with inter-war and post-war semi-detached properties in North Heaton. Sandyford’s housing is predominantly red-brick Victorian terraces or Tyneside flats.
- Benton/Longbenton: on the far side of Jesmond, these are mid-priced suburbs with the Metro making them easily accessible from the city. It’s also a more affordable place to find potential buy-to-lets for families.
- East Newcastle (Byker/Walker): Whilst these areas don’t usually make it onto the ‘best place to live’ lists, they offer the opportunity for budget property and both have significant regeneration money aimed at them. Byker is particularly known for its striking 1960s Estate, built to replace dilapidated Victorian housing and Grade II listed since 2007.
- Fenham: one of the most popular areas of Newcastle for renting, with a strong student population. It sits to the west of the city centre between the Town Moor and the Tyne and, whilst it’s not on the Metro, it still has good transport links. Residential housing dates mainly from the inter-war period and prices are some of the cheapest in the city.
- Gateshead: Newcastle’s twin city, Gateshead is on the other side of the River Tyne. It has lower average house prices than its neighbour but still enjoys easy access by road and Metro, and rental yields from the area can therefore be healthy.
- Newcastle Helix: located on the far side of St James' Park, Newcastle Helix is an innovative city centre development which combines international tech and science business with sustainable urban residential areas.
- Newcastle Great Park: a major area of new development to the north west of the city towards the airport. With land also earmarked for a business park, community facilities, schools and ‘a town centre’, the new suburb is halfway through a 30 year project span, with the Great Park Consortium made up of prominent UK building companies. The prediction is for 4,300 houses to be completed by 2030.