Wolverhampton is one of those places that’s suffered heavily in the past from the decline of it’s traditional industry. And as a result it’s also suffered from something of an unfashionable image. But there are ambitious plans afoot to regenerate the area. And that’s why we think it’s a good location for property investors to consider. Here are 13 good reasons to give Wolverhampton some closer consideration:
1.Wolverhampton itself has a population of 256,000, which is expected to grow to 288,000 over the next few years – increasing demand for housing. The wider area has a population of 1.2m making it one of the largest urban areas in the country.
2.Wolverhampton was granted city status in 2000. City status has helped raise Wolverhampton’s profile as a location for investment and business relocation.
3.Traditionally a heavy industrial areas local economic development policies are now aimed at building on existing manufacturing strengths, developing a more highly skilled workforce and encouraging advanced manufacturing and high tech. engineering.
4.The local LEP has a vision for growth which aims to increase the number of local jobs from 429,000 to 545,000 by 2033 – and to strengthen the economic base by creating an additional 1,500 new businesses each year.
5.Key industries include the automotive industry. Jaguar Land Rover have a high. tech. engine plant to the north of the city. Aerospace is another local high tech. industry – around 20% of the UK’s aerospace manufacturers are located in the area. Both industries provide significant skilled employment.
6.Wolverhampton is an integral part of the Midlands Engine programme, which aims to strengthen the economy of the Midlands over the next decade. The city will be a part of West Midlands city devolution, coming into effect this spring.
7.The area has important enterprise zone sites. The Black Country Enterprise Zone or BCEZ includes a number of sites situated in Wolverhampton and Darlaston, between Walsall and Wolverhampton. It has already attracted around £1.5bn of investment and 4,000 jobs. Brierley Hill Business and Innovation Enterprise Zone is due to be launched this year.
8.The city centre has undergone some regeneration, and there are plans for much more, including a £120m railway station redevelopment and the £55m Westside scheme. Wolverhampton’s ‘City Centre Prospectus’ has an objective to create a vibrant, walkable, attractive, family-friendly city centre with good quality retail, leisure and cultural facilities.
9.Wolverhampton city centre will shortly be linked to Birmingham city centre by a direct line on the Midland Metro tram system – making commutable direct into Birmingham city centre much more practical.
10.The University of Wolverhampton is one of the country’s less well known universities, but has around 23,000 students. The university has an ‘Our Vision, Your Opportunity’ programme which aims to generate £250m of investment by 2020 to drive economic growth in the area and improve student facilities. There has been major investment in new buildings and new courses in chemical engineering, chemistry and economics are being launched.
11.Wolverhampton is very popular with HMO/shared accommodation investors who have the opportunity to benefit from low property prices but a strong demand for shared accommodation. Local press reports claim one major HMO investor – Jim Haliburton the self-styled HMO Daddy – returns a 35% yield on shared accommodation here.
12.The Black Country Garden city is a plan to develop a new town of 45,000 homes, across a number of different sites, in Wolverhampton plus nearby Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall by 2025.
13.Property prices are low by both national standards and regional standards too – average property prices in Wolverhampton are currently around £132,000. Local agents say that properties with good rental potential are available from £80,000. So investors have the opportunity to make good yields with the right investment property in this area.
If you interested in investing in other parts of the West Midlands, here’s a Property Insider report which looks at buying and investing in Birmingham.
And here’s another report about investing in Coventry.