It doesn’t seem that long ago that Exeter was the sort of place that didn’t seem to hold much appeal to anyone other than canny local property investors. But today it’s a different story! The city has undergone a massive transformation over the last twenty years, attracting new industries, new jobs and developing a thriving economy – Indeed, pre-Covid, it was recognised as the fastest growing city economy in the UK. The city has gained a reputation as a vibrant, fashionable place to live and work. So, today, Exeter is JUST the sort of place that property investors should be and indeed are looking to invest.
Why Invest in Exeter?
With a population of around 130,000, a travel-to-work catchment of approaching half a million and forecasters saying another 25,000 people could be living here by 2030, Exeter is a fast-growing city – with the sixth highest employment levels in the country
The city’s forward-thinking council have an exciting “Liveable City plan” – a twenty-year vision to build 12,000 new houses, improve Exeter’s infrastructure and position Exeter as a compact global city. Devon’s capital city economy is based around services and new, emerging knowledge-based industries that offer well-paid jobs. Key employment sectors include public services, health, education, retail, distribution, research and development. With the advent of the new Science Park Exeter is also a growing ”Tech Hub” providing around 10,000 tech jobs.
According to Ernst Young’s ‘UK Regional Economic Forecast’ Exeter is set to be one of the UK’s fastest growing cities over the next three years. Exeter’s growth forecast at 1.8% makes it the fastest-growing regional city after Bristol, Reading, Manchester and Birmingham- none of which have the lifestyle attributes we enjoy here.
Exeter has higher than average property prices – currently around £306,496. However, that doesn’t mean Exeter isn’t affordable to investors.
Exeter’s fast-growing population and rising property values may mean that it is less affordable to many would-be buyers. However, the positive for Buy-to-Let investors is that this, along with the high and growing student population, helps keep the rental market buoyant with good demand for all types of rental property across the board – including “budget” accommodation and shared HMO properties.
So, despite this horrendous pandemic, the outlook for the Exeter residential property market in 2021 looks very positive.
For our view on the overall residential market in the area see our Blog here
Roger Wilkinson is MD of leading West Country property agency, Wilkinson Grant & Company, whose headquarter offices are in Devon’s capital city of Exeter specialising in residential sales, lettings, new homes, HMOs and student accommodation, land and development, acquisitions and consultancy.