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Revealed: where is the most profitable place to buy UK investment property?

A leading data insight company has revealed the best places in the UK to buy an investment property.

Address Intelligence has been on the hunt for the UK’s best areas for investors and found that the average return on investment from letting out a property in the UK is 5%, but this varies drastically when broken down city by city.

According to its findings, the top 10 places to invest in a rental property are: Sunderland, Blackburn, Durham, Blackpool, Oldham, Cleveland, Liverpool, Wigan, Bolton and Manchester.


Investing in a rental property in Sunderland can earn an investor 7.27% back in rental payments in year one, the research found, with average monthly rent of £697. It would take an investor 14.2 years to pay off their property.

When split by property type, the data found that a terraced house in Sunderland makes the greatest return, with a semi-detached and bungalow coming in second and third.

Terraced housing in Blackburn, Blackpool and Cleveland also made the list, while a detached house in Sunderland was tenth on the list, making the Wearside port city the best place to buy an investment property across most property types.

Sunderland, often viewed as one of the most neglected and left behind cities in the UK, struggling to awaken from its post-industrial slumber, has in recent years seen a massive increase in both public and private investment. It’s estimated that, by 2024, over £1.5 billion will have been invested in a bid to transform the city centre.

The ‘evolving city centre’ has brought with it many new job opportunities, making Sunderland a more desirable place to live, according to Address Intelligence.

The city also has a large student population – being home to the University of Sunderland and its approximately 15,000-strong intake – which is likely to make it attractive to property investors with student housing particularly profitable in normal times as the property can be rented out on a room-by-room basis.

Sunderland has also received far more acclaim and international attention thanks to its starring role in the hit Netflix documentary Sunderland ‘Til I Die, which documents the highs and lows of the club and its fans.

Blackburn, another booming industrial hotbed which has fallen on harder times in recent decades, has also received significant investment in recent times, with the newly renovated Cathedral Quarter central to its transformation. The town now boasts a host of new offices and refurbished college and university campuses.

In third place is the picturesque riverside city of Durham, famous for its university and stunning cathedral, which has one of the highest rental values of anywhere in the UK, offering up an opportunity for property owners to make £873 per month per house. Like Sunderland, it has a sizeable university population, while many graduates decide to stay put even after university.

By contrast, the research found the bottom 10 places to invest in a rental property in the UK are:

  1. West London                                                                                                        

  2. Llandrindod                                   

  3. St Albans                                        

  4. Watford

  5. Hereford

  6. Bromley

  7. Cambridge

  8. Dorchester

  9. Slough

  10. North West London

With property prices being extremely high, it comes as no surprise that West London is the least profitable place to buy a rental property in the UK. The average house there is valued at £930,790, meaning it would take an investor 27 years of rental income to pay off their property.

Llandrindod, a small town in Wales, also sits at the bottom of the list, despite (or perhaps because of) it being recently voted in the top 5 happiest places to live in the UK. With this popularity in mind, property prices are steep, and an investor can expect to only earn a 3.7% return per year based on the average annual rental income of £8,361.

When split by property type, the lowest rate of return across the whole of the UK is for a detached house in historic St Albans. Investors in the cathedral city – known as Verulamium during its Roman heyday - will only earn a 3.5% return each year. What’s more, with the average house valued at £983,979, it’s one of the most expensive places to purchase a property the UK.

You can see the full list below.

  1. Sunderland

  2. Blackburn

  3. Durham

  4. Blackpool

  5. Oldham

  6. Cleveland

  7. Liverpool

  8. Wigan

  9. Bolton

  10. Manchester

  11. Newcastle

  12. Doncaster

  13. Halifax

  14. Cardiff

  15. Sheffield

  16. Huddersfield

  17. Wakefield

  18. Bradford

  19. Stoke on Trent

  20. Telford

  21. Warrington

  22. Wolverhampton

  23. Darlington

  24. Hull

  25. Chester

  26. Swansea

  27. Preston

  28. Nottingham

  29. Coventry

  30. Dudley

  31. Leeds

  32. Walsall

  33. Romford

  34. Peterborough

  35. Birmingham

  36. Colchester

  37. Newport

  38. Medway

  39. Brighton

  40. Llandudno

  41. Southend

  42. Crewe

  43. Luton

  44. Lincoln

  45. Northampton

  46. Milton Keynes

  47. Stockport

  48. Derby

  49. East London

  50. Dartford

  51. Southall

  52. Portsmouth

  53. Bristol

  54. Carlisle

  55. Lancaster

  56. South East London

  57. Leicester

  58. Ilford

  59. Canterbury

  60. Plymouth

  61. Norwich

  62. Oxford

  63. Croydon

  64. Truro

  65. Southampton

  66. Bath

  67. Enfield

  68. Bournemouth

  69. Swindon

  70. York

  71. Sutton

  72. West City London

  73. Ipswich

  74. Gloucester

  75. Guilford

  76. North London

  77. Chelmsford

  78. East City London

  79. Harrow

  80. Twickenham

  81. Redhill

  82. Tonbridge

  83. Worcester

  84. Hemel

  85. Harrogate

  86. Shrewsbury

  87. Stevenage

  88. Exeter

  89. Kingston

  90. Taunton

  91. Salisbury

  92. Reading

  93. South West London

  94. Torquay

  95. North West London

  96. Slough

  97. Dorchester

  98. Cambridge

  99. Bromley

  100. Hereford

  101. Watford

  102. St. Albans

  103. Llandrindod

  104. West London

  • Tom Purcell

    This is not a UK list. It's England and Wales only. Scotland and Northern Ireland have been excluded/ignored.


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