Leeds, located in the Yorkshire and Humber region, is a major UK city with a bustling and eclectic identity. Leeds has the third-largest job market in the UK which attracts a high number of expats each year.
Leeds has a wide variety of accommodation options in various areas, so it is crucial to do your research and ensure the area, budget and accommodation is the right fit for you before agreeing to a lease or mortgage.
Good to know:
Leeds has a strong market culture and is the home of the very first Marks and Spencers (M&S), which opened in 1884. It is also the city where the board game Cluedo was invented.
Where to live in Leeds
The city of Leeds has a population of 766,399 inhabitants, and the urban area has 1,777,934. This major UK city has a variety of areas to choose from and caters to all tastes and budgets.
The most popular areas you are most likely to come across when carrying out your search, are the following:
The city centre is naturally one of the most attractive areas to live in Leeds because of its transport links, culture and social scene. The Leeds Waterfront is next to the River Aire and offers riverside city centre living spaces. The area is well known for its quirky converted buildings such as the Engine House and Dye Works.
Typical locals: commuters, professionals, all ages
A bustling suburb and one of the most popular places to live in Leeds, with only a five-minute walk into the centre. People are attracted to this area not only because of its proximity to the centre but also because it has a wide range of bars, as well as independent cafes, delis, and shops.
This area has become very popular with young people looking to move out of the centre but remains in a well-connected and vibrant suburb. The area offers great transport connections and a thriving nightlife, shops as well as parks.
Typical locals: young professionals, families, commuters
Roundhay’s main attraction is the large and beautiful Roundhay Park. The area is perfect for people looking to live in an urban area but also be close to green spaces. Roundhay is also popular because it does not feel cut off from urban living, with a good amount of delis and shops, as well as good transport links.
Typical locals: young professionals, families, couples
Alwoodley is an affluent area of Leeds. Thus housing prices are not low. The area is in proximity to some of the best schools in Leeds and also next to the ring road — perfect for commuters. The area is best known for its stunning homes, including Tudor House and more contemporary, architectural buildings.
Typical locals: families and commuters in their 30s
Leeds Campus is one of the largest campuses in the UK. This area is perfect for students who want to be completely immersed in the student life and want to find cheap accommodation. The campus is also a short walk to the city centre.
Typical locals: students
Headingley is considered to be a predominantly student area, but it has a real mix of locals because of its vibrant identity and many shops, bars and cafes in the centre of town. Commuting from this area is a real advantage with two train stations nearby.
Typical locals: students and commuters between their early 20s to mid 30s
Other areas to live in Leeds
There are also other areas that are below the radar but worth considering. These areas are often significantly cheaper and offer good quality living.
The Northern Quarter
The Northern Quarter is located in the city centre. It has recently become home to many converted apartments from the old mill and factory buildings in this area. It is also near the regenerated Market Area and Victoria Gate.
Typical locals: a variety of backgrounds and ages
Oakwood sits between Roundhay and Harehills, and its identity lies somewhere in between the two. Here you can find a high-quality urban lifestyle and have access to bars and cafes at a much lower price than in Roundhay (around 25% less).
Typical locals: young people, couples, families
Rodley and Caverly
Rodley and Caverly are two canal side areas that offer peaceful and beautiful surroundings. The two areas are further away from Leeds' city centre but close to Horsforth and its bars and cafes. The areas also have a village feel and many good quality pubs.
Typical locals: young families and couples
If you are looking for something a little edgier, this up-and-coming area is worth considering. The regeneration of the South Bank is moving quickly with a lot of residential developments available, such as Granary Wharf. Holbeck is tipped to become very popular, and is currently much cheaper than some other areas.
Typical locals: creatives, 20-35, commuters
Types of accommodation in Leeds
There are various types of accommodation in Leeds, ranging from student halls, slick city apartments, edgy converted lofts to traditional houses or cottages.
Rent prices vary hugely, depending on the area you choose. The average rent for Leeds is £530 for a one bedroom home, £706 for two, and £926 for a three bedroom per month.
If you are looking to buy a property, the average price depends on the area and the type of accommodation you wish to buy. Average prices for a house is £142,000 and £130,167 for flats.
Good to know:
During the industrial revolution, Leeds became a major mill industry, and now has many old mill factories that have been converted into living and working spaces.
Find accommodation in Leeds
Apartments come and go quickly in the Leeds city centre and its surrounding suburbs. Thorough research, rapid reaction, and the following proactive steps are key when finding a property in Leeds:
- Present the necessary documents
- Allow email notifications for properties that match your criteria
- Conduct online research and maybe hit the road to visit real estate agencies
- Take the time to call the contact instead of emailing them
- Show your genuine interest by requesting an early visit
- Make up your mind as quickly as possible and let them know
Expat.com - Housing in Leeds
Short term accommodation
Long term accommodation