When it comes to investment property, Guildford enjoys consistent demand to provide investors with an asset that will offer exciting returns for the foreseeable future.
Over the last 10 years, Guildford has become an epicentre of student learning, thanks to huge investment into the University of Surrey. The campus, situated next to the Cathedral, attracts over 14,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students each year, with applications to the University having increased by approximately 20% year on year since 2006. The University also has a new Vetinary Science school offering top class facilities and also incorporates the Surrey International Institute, which offers joint undergraduate degrees with Dongbei University of Finance and Economics in China, generating a large intake of international students. The world renowned Guildford School of Acting is also now based on campus, with its leading international music academy, the Academy of Contemporary Music based in the centre of the town. With the plethora of educational opportunities on offer in Guildford, it is easy to see why buy-to-let student accommodation investment has become so popular.
In terms of investment property, Guildford is filled with opportunities, with most student accommodation centred around the GU2 postcode in the centre of town. Typically, these are 3-5 bedrooms, semi-detached and detached houses, within easy walking distance of the campus, train station and town centre. Properties in this postcode have shown an average yield growth of 4% over the last 12 months, with an increase in the average value of 1.5%.
For those looking to buy investment property, Guildford provides a large captive letting audience, as well as the possibility of seeing a year on year increase in yield, which has been evident since 2008. For the most part, little will need to be done by the investor in terms of decor and renovation, however it is important for Landlords to ensure that all electrical appliances, furnishings and heating systems comply with regulatory standards.
Flats also provide an exciting investment opportunity. Guildford is a very popular area for young professionals working not only in the town centre, but also in London and consequentially flats are in high demand with this demographic. The business parks around Guildford are now home to a number of multi-national company headquarters such as Colgate-Palmolive, and the Surrey Research Park is also the base of many leading scientific research enterprises. These companies often offer graduate placement schemes and as a result, many young professionals decide to continue living in the town once they finish their studies. Typically these flats are based in purpose built blocks near to the station and town centre in the GU1 postcode and have enjoyed an average yield of 3–5% in the last 12 months.
It is therefore easy to see why for those looking to buy investment property; Guildford is a firm favourite in Surrey.