Peterborough – An exciting alternative for London commuters and Cambridge scientists?Make Text Bigger
The city positions itself as a viable alternative to London and Cambridge for workers looking for better value for money
Peterborough has been appearing in more and more news articles, named as one of the best cities for commuters to reside in. Its rise in prominence and continuous investment has caused its population to sky-rocket, exceeding growth in England between 2011 – 2014 (3.3% v 2.3% national average).
Peterborough – Better Value for Money Compared to Surrounding Areas
Average house prices in Peterborough stand at £182,114, and even when factoring in commute costs, it’s a drop in the ocean compared to central London property that costs in the region of £722,000. With low property prices and a lower cost of living, it is no surprise that workers in London are now considering making the move from the capital to Peterborough.
Peterborough also benefits from excellent transport links being close to the A1 and East Coast Mainline. Commuters can get to both Cambridge and London in under an hour, and other major cities such as Birmingham and Leeds are also within a 90-minute reach. Peterborough is also positioned in an area where there is a strong economy; Cambridge has an excellent jobs market, high salaries and low unemployment rate, and London is easily accessible which opens an additional job market.
Peterborough also has a higher percentage of young people compared to England, standing at 41% aged 29 or under compared to the 38% national average. These are generally the types of people that choose to rent property, due to the flexibility renting offers.
Peterborough Investment and Regeneration
It’s a city that is also experiencing a lot of investment. In 2014 Peterborough City Council announced a £130million regeneration plan for the city centre, and the Peterborough Investment Partnership is a redevelopment scheme devised by Peterborough City Council and the Lucent Strategic Land Fund.
Redevelopment plans include the construction of an industrial park close to the M1 called “Gateway Peterborough”. Companies already confirmed to move to the park include Yearsely Group and GeoPost. Peterborough City Council also have plans to increase the housing supply by 30% in the next 16 years, and the development of 5,600 houses is already underway to the south of the city.
There are also plans to regenerate 20 acres of derelict land at Fletton Quays in Peterborough’s city centre, of which has been awarded £120million. £100million is also being spent on a leisure-led development in the centre of Peterborough called North Westgate. The plan is to develop a piazza that will be home to a cinema, hotel, new apartments, shops and a food hall.
Due to the redevelopment Peterborough is experiencing, and increased demand for property, it’s no surprise that house prices are climbing. Whilst it remains one of the most affordable places in the East of England to purchase property, in the 20 years since 1995 house prices have increased by 246%. According to Rightmove, in 2015 sold prices in Peterborough were up 7% compared to 2014.
What Does the Future Hold for Peterborough?
Peterborough’s population is expected to soar and with that comes increased pressure to house them. Whilst the council has ambitious plans to build housing, it remains to be seen whether they can deliver all the stock required. Furthermore, even if the council do build the required number of houses, it is not guaranteed that the incomers desire or have the capital to buy in the city, especially if the city’s young population continues to outweigh those aged 30 and above. The city also has a high migrant population, who may not have the immediate income required to pay a deposit on a house.
Peterborough has been identified as a buy to let hotspot due to its location, population demographic, affordable housing and regeneration plans. Buy to let property in Peterborough is expected to achieve good capital growth, and with yields projected of over 7%, it’s not surprising that investors are getting exciting about the East Anglian city.