6,000 new flats for Leeds city centre

Portraits of Jonathan Morgan by Yorkshire Photographer Barnaby Aldrick
Portraits of Jonathan Morgan by Yorkshire Photographer Barnaby Aldrick
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Leeds City centre could see an additional 6,000 new flats built over the next seven years, according to the boss of estate agent Morgans.

Jonathan Morgan said the halt in development following the financial crisis had left the city “dramatically undersupplied”, as the city’s recovering economy continues to fuel population growth.

When Morgans was founded in 1997, there were around 600 apartments in the city centre.

This has grown to 11,000, accounting for around two per cent of the city’s population, Mr Morgan said.

With the office and retail sector booming in the city, more flats will be needed to accommodate growth.


He said: “With economic growth comes population growth. Therefore in order to accommodate the number and type of people we need to drive the engine room, we need more flats. It’s simple as that.

“We had no development for three years but the population has continued to grow.

“The office market is now booming, on top of Trinity, on top of the Arena, on top of the Southern railway station entrance and John Lewis coming to the city - which is not to be taken lightly.

“You’ve got to assume we’re dramatically undersupplied.”

Currently, the residential market in the city centre is around 99.5 per cent occupied, he added.

The strength of the property market has once and for all ended the myth of Leeds as the “empty flats capital of the north”.

In 2006, London architect Maxwell Hutchinson warned the city’s newly-built apartment blocks were destined to become the “slums of the future”.

“It’s taken 10 years, but finally it’s been put to bed,” Mr Morgan said. “The irony of it is that it was never true.”