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2021 buy-to-let property hotspots

Last updated: 20th January 2021

It’s here! It’s what you’ve all been waiting for… our predictions for 2021 buy-to-let property hotspots are about to be revealed.

We’re doing things a tad differently this year.

We usually unveil the top five cities we believe investors should be investing in. But this year, we’re giving you what we think are four safe bets and four outside picks just to keep things interesting.

So, let’s get into it.

Safe bet 2021 buy-to-let property hotspots


First up we’ve got Nottingham.

This city came in joint third place last year and it catapulted right to the top of our 2021 property hotspot list this year. And for good reason too.

Hometrack placed Nottingham first place in its capital growth league over the last 12 months after growing 5.3%.

But that’s not all.

Combine this with a relatively low average house price and you’ve got decent affordability too. A winning combo.

We even brought a deal in Nottingham to our Property Hub Invest clients and it was so good, even Rob D invested in it.

A little research will indicate that Nottingham still has some way to grow, and that’s why it’s number one on our list. You can also read here why we think you should invest in Nottingham.


Next we’ve got Liverpool. If you’ve been around for long enough you’ll know how much we love this city – and it’s not just because it’s Rob B’s home town. There’s so much potential here and it still has some way to go.

While house prices in Liverpool have grown over the past few years, affordability still remains low -we’re actually a bit stunned that the city isn’t further along than what it currently is – but that’s a good thing for investors right now.

Considering they’re neighbouring cities, Liverpool is still only a fraction of what Manchester was a few years back. So if you think about where Manchester is now, there’s still a fair amount of investment and growth to come from Liverpool.

And we’ve not even mentioned the billions of pounds of investment that’s being ploughed into the city! Here’s why we think you should invest in Liverpool, so give it a read and let us know what you think.


Still in our top three buy-to-let hotspots from last year is Leeds – a good, solid location. If you’d bought in Leeds last year when we mentioned it in our 2020 hotspots, you’d already be up nearly 5%!

The huge South Bank regeneration scheme that we’ve talked about previously is on the verge of being started thanks to a proposed city centre park. And there’s billions of additional pounds being invested across the city; one of the biggest being an investment into the rail infrastructure, including a HS2 station, upgrades to the East Coast mainline, and the TransPennine route between Manchester, Leeds and York.

This investment alone could amount to £200 billion over the next two decades. So as you can see, there’s still plenty of time and plenty of reasons why you should invest in Leeds.

Greater Manchester

You’ll notice this year we’ve listed Greater Manchester as a hotspot rather than focusing purely on Manchester city centre.

The city centre’s recent growth has driven property prices up which, if you’ve previously invested here, is certainly a good thing. But now’s the time to take a look at the larger towns outside of Manchester city centre.

In certain areas you’ll find great affordability, lots of regeneration projects in the pipeline and a ridiculously high tenant demand.

Two major towns that are on our radar are Bolton and Stockport. There’s loads of regeneration happening here and they’re within commuting distance to the city centre. Not to mention there’s plans for the Greater Manchester Tram Network to be extended here in the future.

Bolton and Stockport aren’t the only ones within the Greater Manchester area that are benefiting from the ripple effect of Manchester city centre. You just need to do your research and look for current and future investment plans.

What about the outside buy-to-let hotspot picks?

We’ll pre warn you, there may be a few surprises here.

Home Counties

This is a new one to make our hotspot list, and just to surprise you even more, we’re actually recommending the Home Counties in the south!

Now we wouldn’t normally suggest the south but behavioural patterns have led us here, as more Londoners seem to be escaping the capital.

Being close and commutable to the city – plus the added bonus of plenty of highly desired green space, we think the trend of people favouring the Home Counties could continue.

Maybe not forever, but certainly for a couple of years.


Sheffield has been on our ones-to-watch list for a few years now, but it’s still yet to see that explosive phase.

It’s always been surprising to us, as house prices are low and it has plenty of the fundamentals we look for in a buy-to-let investment location.

It might not be the location to invest in right now if you’re wanting an instant return on your investment, but if you’re investing for the long term then we’d highly recommend considering Sheffield. And the capital growth opportunities have the potential to be fantastic.

And if we haven’t convinced you yet, here’s some more reasons why we think you should invest in Sheffield.


That’s right – Belfast!

We’ve never included anywhere in Ireland on our buy-to-let hotspot lists, but it’s about time we put Belfast on your radar.

During the last 18-year property cycle, prices in Belfast grew phenomenally. Then they took a downward spiral during the 2008 crash and never recovered. And even now, property prices are still way lower than their last peak.

As it stands (at the time of writing), Belfast properties are better value than all other capital cities in the UK and there’s been a load of investment happening over the past decade too.

So, keep an eye on Belfast. You heard it here first.


As a neighbour to Nottingham, Derby benefits from the knock on effect of Nottingham and the same investment factors.

There are major manufacturing employers in Derby which certainly boosts employment opportunities, not to mention that wages in Derby are in the top 10 highest in the UK, making property affordability pretty decent, as well as boosting the supply and demand for rental property in the area.

So if Nottingham isn’t ticking your investment boxes, why not take a look at Derby?

A note on our 2021 property hotspots

Firstly, don’t take our words as gospel.

While we recommend these areas from thorough research and will be focusing our own investment efforts here and sourcing deals for clients in these locations, that doesn’t mean they’re the right places for you.

We recommend that you do your own thorough due diligence before committing to any investment. You could start by taking this university course on how to spot the next property hotspot.

If you’re not 100% confident in investing by yourself and you’d like some further guidance, working with a property investment company may be beneficial and help you along on your journey. But make sure you look into any company before working with them.

And finally, if this article and all the additional resources weren’t enough for you, check out our 2021 hotspots video over on our YouTube channel.

If you’d like to speak to someone about growing your property portfolio in 2021, why not book a free strategy meeting with our Property Hub Invest team by clicking here.

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