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Articles > Property Hotspots - Feeling Hot Hot Hot!

Every investor wants to see good returns on their investment; here leading Property Guru Ajay Ahuja shares his top ten locations around the UK.

10. Stockton-On-Tees, Durham

North East of England, Stockton-On-Tees hosts part of the University of Durham and has started seeing large investment into service based industries. With growing industry and the increasing capacity of the University of Durham the rental market within Stockton-On-Tees is only set to increase.

Stockton-On-Tees hosts 50% of the Stockton Middlesborough initiative which is a 20 year investment program aimed at regenerating the Tees Valley. This program aims to radically change the way of life within the area over the next decade. The education facilities in the area are to undertake a massive overhaul in the coming years, making it more attractive for families with children.

9. Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Stoke-On-Trent is between the cities of Manchester and Birmingham and to the East of the Peak District National Park. It benefits from the M6 transport route giving Stoke-On-Trent residents easy and quick access to two major cities. Stoke-On-Trent is well known for its pottery production and attracts around 5 million visitors per year from around the world. The tourist industry is the largest contributor to the local economy. Being voted as the most cost-effective place to set up a new UK business Stoke-on-Trent has seen a growth in the number of small businesses who are fuelling economic growth in the area. The economic prosperity and the ideally situated Staffordshire University means that there is a healthy rental market for investors to capitalise on.

8. Preston, Lancashire
Situated on the M6, Preston is less than 20 minutes from Blackpool and less than an hour away from Manchester and Liverpool. These transport links encourage the industrious heart of the city.
Preston has a strong economy and high employment rate due partly to the location of BAE Systems and a number of Breweries. The town also hosts a variety of large businesses, making it a prosperous place to live.
The University of Central Lancashire is also situated in Preston, giving it a lively student rental market. The 33,000 students form the sixth largest university in the country. Preston was granted City Status in 2002, making it the newest city in Britain. As a result of this, Preston is currently on the threshold of a £1.8 billion investment project, which been designed to transform it into one of the major commercial centres of the Northwest. Preston's rich historical background and picturesque location on the banks of the Ribble have confirmed the city as a thriving tourist centre, which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. With its new-found status and investment plans, Preston is expected to experience a huge upsurge in business, employment and tourism, which will have enormous positive effects on the local economy. For the investor, the time is ripe.

7. Darlington, County Durham
Historically famous for being the location of the world's first-ever passenger rail journey, Darlington became one of the first major transport regions in Britain. Its accessible location close to the river Tees links to nearby cities such as Middlesborough and Newcastle, and close proximity to Durham Tees Valley airport reinforce Darlington's identity as being a thriving commercial town. The excellent local amenities, including theatre, cinema, stylish bars, and restaurants attract the high proportion of young, educated people residing in this area. With a wealth of manufacturing industries already established, and growing service sector opportunities, there is also much on offer in terms of employment. Increasing business opportunities, a sound tourist industry, cheaply priced properties, and a large renting population all indicate good signs for the property investor.

6. Grimsby, Lincolnshire
Grimsby is a coastal town on the North-East coast of Lincolnshire. Managed by the district council, Grimsby and its surrounding conurbation make up the most populated area of the county which surely has a positive impact on the property market.
Sources indicate that Grimsby is anticipating a £13million spend on local regeneration, which can invariably force appreciation, and hopefully attract more residents to the area through its strong transport links. Grimsby also benefits from a strong commercial presence, predominately shops and nightclubs, despite its roots being agricultural and industrial, and is home to the popular division two football team Grimsby Town F.C

5. Blackpool, Lancashire
Being a top tourist attraction, Blackpool is a great place for investment. Blackpool is continually striving to improve its position within today's tourist industry. The town's representatives are still heavily lobbying parliament to award a casino plan to Blackpool. In March 2007 Blackpool Council signed up to a three month deal to work exclusively with the developers of Storm City, a £500m scheme to build a proposed multi-themed indoor entertainment complex on a 30 acre site between Rigby Road and Central Drive. Storm City would house

A 12,000 seated Arena
Four World Class hotels
Shopping areas
Five themed entertainment areas
Rooftop gardens
Blackpool's own version of the London Eye.

A second scheme, which is primarily aimed at the local population, but will also benefit those holidaymakers travelling to the town by rail, named Talbot Gateway would be a £285m Civic Quarter, for which International project management specialist AMEC has been chosen to transform what is at present a rundown area around Blackpool North railway station into a what Blackpool Council hope will be a world class gateway with new office and retail space as well as a public square, dubbed the Talbot Plaza. The development would be 'wrapped' around Blackpool North railway station so that rail passengers arrive at street level into the new plaza with views down to the seafront, making their arrival at Blackpool a much more pleasant experience that at present. The regeneration company behind much of the town’s current and future development, ReBlackpool are working with Blackpool Council and AMEC to sort out the planning application.

4. Burnley, Lancashire
Back in1999, Burnley successfully won the Single Regeneration Budget and were awarded £20 million to be spent on regeneration schemes across the town. A programme was introduced to improve education for all ages, health and well-being, local environment (housing and neighbourhoods), better paid jobs and to strengthen the economy overall. The programme began in 2000 and is due to end at the end of March 2009. Burnley is looking to also regenerate a second shopping centre ‘The Oval' (housing 32 units) and is scheduled for completion in 2010 -naturally drawing further interest to the area.
As the council focuses on improving the education infrastructure within the area, Burnley is the perfect place for buy to let investors. During university term time there is a thriving student community looking for rental accommodation and in addition to this, Burnley is known for its busy industry meaning a large rental population looking for suitable property.

3. Bognor Regis, West Sussex
Bognor Regis is undergoing a considerable and fast-moving programme of regeneration. £100 million is being invested in various projects to deliver new and first class education, arts and office facilities in addition to greater, more affordable housing, transport infrastructure and public open space. The "Master Plan" began in 2004 and is designed so that the town is divided into themed areas such as the Retail Quarter, Leisure Heart, Cafe Quarter etc, boosting the local economy.
One of the projects already in motion is the development site at Hothamton, due for completion in November 2009. This site, planned to be the ‘Healthy Living' centre, will host 126 residential units, a library, and council offices in addition to a new health centre and citizens advice bureau. The town has consistently made it into the top three in the sunshine league and beaches boasting the European Blue Flag and a thriving tourist industry. This makes it a perfect place for buy to let investors looking to purchase holiday lets in addition to buy to let properties for an expanding work force.

2. Sutton-In-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire
In May 2006 Arup, Innes Engaldn and Outerspace were commissioned by Ashfield Council to prepare a masterplan for Sutton-In-Ashfield town centre. The council has improved areas for transport, public realm, architecture and design and further improvements are still yet to be made. Recently the council have proposed that a further 799 dwellings of apartment blocks, town houses, semi-detached houses, detached houses and bungalows be built. With this pending application ready to be approved, the area's infrastructure will soon grow offering landlords the chance to enjoy great yields and long term capital appreciation. Sutton-In-Ashfield is a great opportunity for investment as property prices are still low.

1. Blyth, Northumberland
Over the past five years a total investment of £15million has transformed the Quayside now providing a Community Enterprise Centre, quality office and workshop developments. In addition, Blyth's regeneration project includes the phase of new road and environmental works which overall create to a better community.
Regeneration plans worth more than £20 million being spent on different aspects of raising the area, in effect creating especially excellent yields. Employment prospects will also be on the rise as new office developments pop up and will therefore mean more general working opportunities, likely to increase the demand for lettable property.Property prices are very cheap starting from only £30,000! This is a hot place to invest if you are looking to build a cash flow positive property portfolio.

Source: Ajay Ahuja



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