Leeds property news: Shops are big attraction

Leeds city centre skyline.
Leeds city centre skyline.
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LEEDS city centre’s booming retail offering is a major reason why so many people are flocking to live in the city according to new research.

City living specialist Morgans surveyed more than 100 of the city’s newest residents, who have rented apartments through the company since the start of the year. They asked them about how big an attraction great shops were when they were deciding on where to live.

A total of 61 per cent said Leeds city centre’s shops were an important factor when they rented a city apartment and 38 per cent said they were prepared to pay a premium to live within a two minute walk of the city’s main retail areas.

In addition, three per cent admitted that it would be unbearable not to have the city’s shops on their doorstep. This research comes following a string of accolades for Leeds’ retail sector in recent years, including the city being named as the best shopping destination in the UK by the Rough Guide to Britain.

The opening of Trinity in 2013 helped the city climb to third place in a league table of top retail destinations and later this year, Leeds will also become home to the largest John Lewis store outside London, when Victoria Gate opens in autumn. This will put Leeds in second place in the national retail rankings, behind London. Jonathan Morgan, Managing Director of Morgans, said: “Residential development in Leeds is trailing behind the pace set by the retail sector. We manage Leeds city centre’s largest rentals portfolio and our occupancy levels currently stand at over 99.5 per cent as tenant demand continually outstrips supply, so there is a real shortage of residential stock available at the moment. However, work is starting this year on a number of new apartment developments, which will mostly be ready to move into during 2017, by which time Victoria Gate will be helping to draw even more potential residents into the city centre.”