Once upon a time, Exeter was the sort of place that didn’t have much to offer the property investor. It was a sleepy, behind-the-times backwater where nothing much happened.
But today it’s a different story! Exeter has undergone a transformation over the last couple of decades. It has attracted new industries, new jobs and developed a thriving economy. It’s gained a reputation as a vibrant, fashionable place to live and work. So today, Exeter is JUST the sort of place that you SHOULD consider for property investment.
Exeter is a fast-growing city, boding well for property investors and buy to let landlords. The current population is around 130,000 – with 470,000 people in the travel-to-work area. Forecasts say another 25,000 people could be living here by 2030.
Exeter has an exciting Livable City Plan – a 20-year vision to build 12,000 new houses, improve Exeter’s infrastructure and position Exeter as a compact global city.
Exeter’s 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. Exeter is also a sizable tech hub providing 10,000 tech jobs.
In fact, Exeter overall has the sixth-highest employment level in the country.
According to EY’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 even booming Birmingham.
Exeter has seen huge commercial development over the last few years, to accommodate new businesses and new jobs. Exeter Science Park, where 3,000 people will eventually work, opened in 2015 to attract new businesses in the STEMM sector. The Met Office has its HQ here. Exeter and East Devon Enterprise Zone consist of four development sites – Exeter Science Park, Skypark Exeter, Airpark around Exeter Airport and the new town of Cranbrook.
The University of Exeter has around 22,000 students, so good news for student property investors. Areas which are popular for student property include the city centre, Pennsylvania, Stoke Hill, St. Davids, St. Thomas, Mount Pleasant, St. James, Heavitree, Newtown and St. Leonards. In recent years a lot of PBSA (purpose-built student accommodation) has been built in Exeter too.
Exeter benefits from a location that pretty much offers everything – no wonder it has been described as a fantastic place to live! As well as all the usual city amenities Exeter is just 20 minutes to the coast and 20 minutes to the Dartmoor and the rolling Devon countryside. Even London is just two hours away, by the fastest train.
Exeter has higher than average property prices. According to Zoopla, the average asking price here is a steep £306,496. However, that doesn’t mean Exeter isn’t affordable to investors. Look on property portals like Rightmove and Zoopla and you’ll find Exeter property prices start from around £90,000.
While property prices in some parts of the country are falling that doesn’t seem to be the case in Exeter – making it a good bet for those hoping for long term gains
Exeter’s fast-growing population and rising property values mean that it is unaffordable to many prospective buyers. The positive for buy to let investors, however, is that this helps keep the rental market buoyant.