Moving to Leeds: A Stashbee Moving Guide
The North. Yorkshire. Leeds. If you are asking yourself, is Leeds a good place to live?', then look no further - here is your comprehensive guide to living in Leeds!
A 2020 study found that Leeds was the fourth happiest city in the UK. There’s definitely a lot of reasons to be in high spirits whilst living here. Leeds has a competitive property market, an iconic cultural scene, and endless shopping options. Life in Leeds has something for every potential mover. Whether you’re setting up on your own or moving with your family, the locals are proud to call Leeds home and are sure to make you feel welcome.
- Population: 782,444 (2017 estimate) in the city of Leeds. The West Yorkshire Urban Area is approximately 1.8 million.
- Average salary: £26,000
- Average house price: £279,468
- Average monthly rent: £765 - 1 bedroom flat
- Main train station(s): Leeds railway station
- Closest Airport: Leeds Bradford Airport
- Air pollution levels: Moderate
- Average price for a pint of milk: £0.95
- Average price of a pint of beer: £4.00
Leeds is the fourth largest city in the UK. Situated in West Yorkshire in the Yorkshire and Humber region it’s a commutable drive from both Manchester and York. This is an area of outstanding natural beauty. In the city centre you’re only 20 miles from the Yorkshire Dales national park. It’s referred to by locals as ‘God’s own country’ for a reason!
Transport in Leeds
Many locals opt for the scenic option and navigate the streets of Leeds on foot. The most popular public transport is a well-connected bus service. An adult single will set you back £2.60 but for £110 a month you can get a season ticket covering all central buses and trains.
Leeds has access to the M1 and M26 motorways, a great option for those commuting to other midland cities. Leeds railway station is one of the best connected in the country and fast trains depart for London twice an hour. Leeds Bradford airport is only 6.4km from the city centre for those looking to travel further afield.
Average house prices in Leeds
The average house price in Leeds is £229,876. This figure has increased by nearly 10% in the last year as the city’s popularity booms. The average flat price is lower at around £140,619.
For those looking to rent in Leeds you’ll be paying roughly £825 pcm for a one bed apartment near the city centre. Prices drop pretty consistently with distance from the centre, with a two or three-bedroom apartment in the suburbs costing approximately £1,045 pcm. The average rent in London is roughly 146.8% more expensive than Leeds.
Every property in Leeds is divided into one of eight council tax brackets (A-H). As of 2022/3 the lowest bracket pays an annual average of £1,240.45 council tax. At the other end of the scale, some property owners pay as much as £3,720.44. You can learn more about Leeds city council tax here.
Exploring your options
As with any big city, Leeds has many different neighbourhoods, each with their own attraction and price point. As long as you know your budget and check the local transport links you’ll find a home in Leeds that works for your lifestyle.
Chapel Allerton, Hyde Park, Gledhow and Woodhouse are great neighbourhoods. These often appeal to younger renters as they’re cheaper and well-connected. There’s lots of student housing in Hyde Park and Moortown, making them vibrant areas with good value bars and restaurants.
If you’re in the market for a more expensive property then the suburbs of Alwoodly and Headingley are popular choices with lots of green spaces and top schools. Roundhay is probably the most affluent area of Leeds with an average property price of £360,351. It’s situated 3 miles North of the city in ‘The Golden Triangle’, the affluent countryside between Leeds, Harrogate and York. Roundhay Park is a stunning, 700-acre parkland and one of the city’s most visited attractions.
Arts and Culture
In 2017 The Times deemed Leeds the ‘best cultural place to live in Britain.’ You can head into Leeds Art Gallery if you’re feeling more traditional or take a trip to the Tetley if modern art’s more your thing. If you want to learn more about the city’s history there are multiple specialised museums.
Leeds is a global hotspot for film and cinema lovers. The oldest surviving moving picture footage was filmed in this city in 1888. Every winter the Leeds International Film Festival attracts movie-lovers from the UK and beyond.
Sport is a massive part of life in Leeds - being a one club city home to Leeds United, you will see the club crest everywhere throughout the city centre and surrounding areas. Now back in the Premier League, Elland Road welcomes a capacity 38,000 fans for every home game.
Also based in Leeds are Yorkshire Cricket Club, a first division Cricket county based in Headingley. In the same complex, you can find Leeds Rhinos, a Rugby Leage powerhouse with their own stadium joined by the only sporting stand in the world to overlook two international sporting venues. The cricket and rugby grounds regularly hosts England Cricket and England Rugby League teams.
Studying in Leeds
Leeds is a great place for secondary schools with some of the top including Prince Henry's Grammar School, Otley; The Grammar School at Leeds, Alwoodley; Ilkley Grammar School, Ilkley and Leeds West Academy which specialises in performing arts.
Leeds has a thriving student community, home to Leeds University - the largest single-campus university in the country, Leeds Beckett University (Formerly Leeds Metropolitan University) and Leeds Trinity University. All with campuses in Leeds city centre makes for fierce rivalries and a great nightlife!
Leeds has a thriving economy. The main sectors are financial services, retail, construction, manufacturing and tourism. It’s also a great place to start a business. The number of startups and mid-size companies in Leeds is well above the national average. That being said, some job search websites report a lower job density in Leeds than in other similarly sized cities. It might be smart to secure a job before making the move North.
Payscale estimates that the average salary in Leeds is roughly £30,000 a year. That’s lower than the national average. After tax that leaves about £1,950 of disposable income. Research into the cost of happiness across the UK estimates that a minimum salary of £27,712 is needed to enjoy life in Leeds to the fullest.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Leeds is pretty much in line with the UK national average. A pint of milk will set you back about 95p while a pint at the pub will average £4.00. Numbeo estimates that the average person will spend £737.65 before rent. You can check their full cost of living breakdown here.
However, utility bills are considerably more expensive than the UK average with basic monthly utilities averaging £239.14.
Food and Drink
Leeds is famous among foodies. With incredible food options as diverse as its population you won’t go hungry here. Check out your dinner options here. From the Trinity Centre’s ‘Trinity Kitchen’ – samples of street food from around the world, to Michael O’Hare’s Michelin-starred ‘The Man Behind the Curtain’, you won’t be short of options!
This is also the home of the infamous Otley run, a lethal, 15-stop (though this is debated) pub crawl spanning the distance from Headingley to the city centre. Most days you will find a throng of students in fancy dress making the walk from pub-to-pub into Leeds city centre. If you're still standing after that then the nightlife scene lives up to the hype. With techno nights, jazz bars and endless student deals it’s easy to have a good time in Leeds. Call Lane or Merrion Street are popular choices if you prefer to dodge the clubs - a great mix of bars and restaurants in both.
Making the move to Leeds
If you decide to take the leap and become a Leeds local then make sure you’re all prepped for the big move. Research the different neighbourhoods and council tax brackets and maybe head up there beforehand to sample some of the food and drinks on offer!
If you've now decided to make the move to the self-proclaimed 'God's own country' - Yorkshire - and need storage to help with the move, Stashbee has convenient local storage spaces all over the England.
9th Feb 2023
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