Area Guide: Leeds
Ranked the 10th most liveable city in England, Leeds is a great place to live. In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the city, where to live and how much it costs to buy a property. We’ll also highlight the city’s best schools, pubs and restaurants, and showcase the area’s superb transport links.
Living in Leeds
Leeds is the largest city in West Yorkshire and sits on the River Aire in the eastern foothills of the Pennines. Just 20 miles from the stunning scenery of the Yorkshire Dales, Leeds is 45 miles northeast of Manchester and flanked by fellow West Yorkshire cities Bradford and Wakefield and market town Dewsbury.
Best places to live in Leeds
Just outside the city's ring road, Horsforth benefits from great transport links and some of the best schools in the area, making it a popular area to live for families.
Average property price: £314,147
Find the branch details for Leeds Horsforth
Roundhay is best known for its huge park, which hosts some of Leeds’ most popular live events. A five-minute drive from Leeds City Centre, Roundhay is highly sought-after thanks to its green space, great schools and superb properties.
Average property price: £193,659
Like Horsforth, Chapel Allerton is one of Leeds’ most popular suburbs with young families. And with the city centre just a 10-minute drive away, it’s also superbly located for city workers looking for an easy commute.
Average property price: £261,364
Home to Yorkshire County Cricket Club, trendy suburb Headingley boasts great transport links making it popular with students and professional couples.
Average property price: £259,559
Just outside the city ring road to the north, Alwoodley is one of the most affluent areas of Leeds. The properties that flank the golf clubs of Sand Moor and Moortown are among the area’s finest.
Average property price: £336,254
Despite being just nine miles from Leeds city centre, Bramhope can feel like a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The village is nestled in rural West Yorkshire, just south of the Nitterdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, so if rural tranquillity is on your wish list, Bramhope is definitely an area you should consider.
Average property price: £513,161
Just up the A660 from Bramhope is the market town of Otley, which is an area famed for its rural pubs and farmers markets on the doorstep of the Yorkshire Dales. And with Leeds city centre only a 30-minute drive away, Otley is an area that offers the best of rural bliss and big city convenience. There are some great carnivals and festivals to boot.
Average property price: £295,417
Meanwood is just north of Headingley and offers the same great access to Leeds itself, alongside modern amenities and a superb green space in Meanwood Park. The area is popular with young families, due to its location and outstanding primary schools.
Average property price: £272,933
Amenities in Leeds
With such a high population, it should come as no surprise that the amenities in and around Leeds are impressive.
Broadband speeds are better than the national average. Residents in the south of the city can expect speeds of up to 120 MPS, while those in the east and west will enjoy speeds of up to 139 MBPS.
The city and surrounding areas have a higher-than-average number of green spaces too. In the south, 7.4% of the area is taken up by parks and woods, while in the east and west, this increases to 8.3%.
Things to do in Leeds
The best things to do in Leeds revolve around taking in the fresh air of West Yorkshire. Roundhay Park is a great spot for a picnic, walk or simply to take in some sunshine in the warmer months, while a wander around the ruins of Kirkstall Abbey is a journey back to 900 years ago.
For shoppers, there’s Trinity Leeds with more than 120 shops, cafés and restaurants, as well as the traditional arcades of the city centre that are home to boutique local brands and luxury fashion houses like Louis Vuitton and Mulberry. The Leeds Kirkgate Market is the largest covered market in Europe, which runs from Monday to Saturday, offering fresh food, drink, fashion, flowers, haberdashery and more.
Leeds is also a haven for sport throughout the year, with Premier League football at Leeds United, Super League rugby from Leeds Rhinos and county and international cricket at Headingley.
And if you’re keen to take in some of the city’s history, visits to Kirkstall Abbey, Harewood House, Temple Newsam House and the Royal Armouries museum are essential.
Best restaurants in Leeds
Leeds is home to a number of restaurants that carry a prestigious Michelin star, alongside many others that have been recognised in the organisation’s annual guide.
1. The Man Behind the Curtain - If fine dining is supposed to be an experience, then The Man Behind the Curtain is getting it right. Run by acclaimed chef Michael O’Hare, the basement restaurant in Leeds city centre has one Michelin star and three AA rosettes – and all for dishes like chocolate pudding and pork rinds, and olives wrapped in edible cellophane!
2. HOME - Set in a former Victorian fish market in Kirkgate, HOME describes itself as ‘relaxed’ fine dining. Run by Masterchef semi-finalist Liz Cottam, the eatery features in the latest Michelin Guide and is best known for its 10-course taster menu which features Black Forest Duck – a clever play on the traditional gateau pudding.
3. Ox Club - Housed in the former textile mill at Headrow House in Leeds, Ox Club is known for showcasing UK produce like Swaledale lamb rump and langoustines from the North Sea. Everything is cooked using a solid fuel grill and the restaurant is featured in the 2022 Michelin Guide.
4. Crafthouse - Crafthouse offers dining with views across Leeds, thanks to its location on the fifth floor of the Trinity shopping centre. The restaurant offers classic British dishes and pays homage to Leeds’ industrial history through its décor which is inspired by textiles and fabrics.
5. Tharavadu - Tharavadu has featured in the Michelin Guide and was named as one of the 10 best Indian restaurants in the country by TripAdvisor. The restaurant’s menu is based on the traditional foods of Kerala on the south west coast of India, with deep flavoured rice and seafood very much the order of the day.
Transport in Leeds
As you’d expect from the city, Leeds is incredibly well connected, with 83.9% of homes within a 200 metre walk of a bus or train stop. Buses operate regularly around the city with Arriva offering 20 routes in and around Leeds. First bus offers a further 60 routes.
Trains to London are frequent, with a journey time of just over 2 hours. Manchester is quicker to get to by train, taking just under 45 minutes.
Schools in Leeds
Leeds and the surrounding suburbs are hugely popular with families – and it’s easy to see why when you look at the area’s schools. The Leeds area is home to no fewer than 42 ‘Outstanding’-rated primary schools, including:
Fun fact: In south Leeds, 16% of homes have an Ofsted Outstanding school as their nearest primary school - higher than the national average of 13%.*
Seven Leeds secondary schools are also rated ‘Outstanding’ and these are:
Leeds is also home to no fewer than four (!) universities: the University of Leeds – currently ranked 20th in the country – Leeds Beckett University, Leeds Trinity University and Leeds Metropolitan University.
Is it expensive to live in Leeds?
Currently the 20th most expensive city in England, it’ll set you back, on average, £1343 per month to live in Leeds. That said, the median salary is £2284 after tax, which is enough to cover your living expenses for a little over a month and a half.
How much is council tax in Leeds?
A Band A property in Leeds will cost you £1,008* a year in council tax. Common Band C and D properties, meanwhile, cost £1,741* and £1,959* per year, while the most expensive Band H homes cost just over £3,917.
*For the year 2023/24. Prices from leeds.gov.uk.
Who lives in Leeds?
With an estimated population of 789K, Leeds is the third largest city in the United Kingdom.
Green suburbs, parks and excellent schools mean Leeds is ideal for families. According to Dataloft, over a third of households in Leeds include families with children.
It’s also popular with young professionals looking to lay down roots. And Leeds’ status as the second largest economy for finance and business services outside of London means it’s a great place for graduates and professionals to build their career.
Is Leeds a student-friendly city?
With no fewer than four universities, students make up a good chunk of the overall population of Leeds.
What’s it like to live in Leeds?
Let’s ask the locals:
“On the whole, the people in Leeds couldn’t be nicer. There’s lots to do – from live music to restaurants and shopping.” Rob, 39, Otley.
Buying in Leeds
More than half of the population own their home (Dataloft, 2021) so there’s a wide range of choice if you’re looking to buy in Leeds. With average property prices up to a third less than the national average, Leeds is a haven for investors and first-time buyers alike.
Types of properties in Leeds
With such a rich history, it should come as no surprise that Leeds has more than 1470 heritage or listed buildings in the east and west of the city, and 550 in the south. But where will you find a period home to suit your taste?
In Headingley and Kirkstall, you’ll find a good number of 19th century terraced homes, a result of Leeds’ rapid growth during this period.
Chapeltown is also known for its terraced houses, alongside a good number of large Victorian villas.
Chapel Allerton, like Headingley, boasts a selection of art-deco-style buildings originating from the 1920s and 1930s.
Modern developments since the turn of the millennium, meanwhile, have focused on the city centre, with striking student accommodation blocks and flats and apartments around Leeds Dock.
House prices in Leeds
In the south of Leeds, the average property price currently stands at £184,958 – 33% less than the national average in England and Wales. Average prices in the East and West of the city are a little steeper at £225, 221, but this is still 18% less than the rest of England and Wales.
Prices by property type
In south Leeds:
Flats and apartments: 16% of sales in the past 12 months were flats, achieving an average sales price of £144,102.
Detached houses: 36.1% of sales over the last year were detached properties, with an average price of £337,063.
Semi-detached houses: 31.8% of properties sold in the last 12 months were semi-detached. These sold for an average of £200,132.
In east and west Leeds
Flats and apartments: 13.4% of sales in the past 12 months were flats, achieving an average sales price of £146,678.
Detached houses: 36.2% of sales over the last year were detached properties, with an average price of £448,557.
Semi-detached houses: 37.2% of properties sold in the last 12 months were semi-detached. These sold for an average of £254,507.
(Source: Dataloft, Land Registry)
Letting in Leeds
With almost a quarter of its residents living in rented accommodation (Dataloft, 2023), Leeds is a fantastic area to invest in. Coming up, we’ll look at the average rental income landlords can expect for a property and whether it’s best to invest in a house or a flat.
Rental prices by property
According to Dataloft, over the last 12 months, the average rent achieved for homes let in south Leeds was £845 per month - 13% higher than the previous 12-month period. In the east and west of the city, average rents were £766 per month, an increase of 16% year-on-year.
So, which properties saw the largest increase in rent? According to Dataloft, terraced properties achieved somewhere between a 24% and 30% increase in average rent compared to between 10-19% for semi detached. The rental income for detached properties dropped by 3% in south Leeds and rose by 9% in the east and west of the city.
Is it better to invest in a flat or house to rent in Leeds? Well, over three quarters of the homes let in the past 12 months were flats however this can vary between areas.
Here’s a breakdown of the average rent landlords can expect to receive by property type:
Average monthly rent for flats/apartments: £862
Average monthly rent for detached houses: £1068.96
Average monthly rent for semi-detached houses: £891.96
Average monthly rent for terraced houses: £752.46
Leeds east and west
Average monthly rent for flats/apartments: £763
Average monthly rent for detached houses: £1154.52
Average monthly rent for semi-detached houses: £960.68
Average monthly rent for terraced houses: £812.72
Who rents in Leeds?
With a quarter of the Leeds population living in rented accommodation, you may be surprised to learn that the lion’s share of these are aged under 30 - just over 60%.
15% are younger still, aged between 18-21, which is probably due to the high student population in Leeds.
(Source: Dataloft, Land Registry)
Selling in Leeds
If you’re thinking of selling your home, it’s likely that your property has increased in value. Average house prices in Leeds have increased by at least 6% within the last 12 months. The only way to know for certain is to book a free valuation.
How easy is it to sell your home in Leeds?
As with much of the country, property transactions are down in Leeds by as much as half (Dataloft, 2023). This means it’s more important than ever to work with an agent who truly understands your local market.
Martin & Co have ready and motivated buyers who are looking to buy in your area. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can get you moving.
Is it the right time to sell?
Only you can decide whether it’s the right time to move. However, with healthy property prices and the right agent on board, you should have no trouble achieving an asking price that’s fair for your home.