The best investments outside London?

The best investments outside London? (D Andrews for Adfero)

Property investors looking to diversify their portfolios will find there is still plenty of value to be had in London, although some may consider the capital more of a long-term investment in the current climate.

While Brexit is fuelling much uncertainty about the future role of the city as a global economic and financial centre, most judges would anticipate that it will reassert itself before too long, not least as Britain adjusts to new realities and pursues new opportunities outside the European Union. 

Even so, many property investors, not least in the residential sector, may observe that with the London market going through something of a correction due to its highly inflated housing prices, now could be a good time to diversify the portfolio and add something to it from outside the M25.

According to a new study by Compare the Market, a number of locations stand out as offering excellent value, both in terms of price and prospects for future increases in value. 

It revealed the easiest place to acquire a property was Canterbury in Kent, where average prices stand at £311,154 and properties are typically snapped up 28 days after going on the market. While there are only 261.7 properties per 100,000 people, the tally of 219 estate agencies is unusually large for a town that size. 

Bristol comes second on the list with prices almost identical to Canterbury's. As the second largest city in the south of England, it may offer a popular prospect for those who want to stay within the M4 corridor. Southampton was listed third and provides another south-eastern alternative. 

Apart from Southampton's neighbour Portsmouth, however, the rest of the top 20 are outside the south. 

Manchester is fourth overall and offers a major metropolitan alternative to London. Average prices are much lower at £185,583 and there are 784.6 properties available per 100,000 people. 

Moreover, Manchester is something of a boom town at the moment. House prices are rising and while much of this has to do with the kind of property being built - a plethora of skyscrapers are rising up in the city centre and very few properties in them are classed as affordable - this does mean more diversity. 

Once the city was mainly a mix of terraces and larger townhouses, with relatively few semis. However, this low-rise red brick urban landscape is no longer a near-universal feature of Mancunian living, as the central area has been transformed from an area where almost nobody lived as recently as the 1990s, to a densely-populated city living destination featuring huge blocks of apartments. 

Plenty of other large cities make the top 20 list, including Glasgow in seventh, Bradford in ninth, plus Sheffield, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Leeds. Medium-sized cities on the list include Nottingham, Newcastle, Derby, Sunderland, Coventry and Leicester, while smaller cities are represented by York and Peterborough.  

Therefore, it seems there are numerous good options all over the country, from a county town in Kent to some of the largest cities. For investors looking beyond London, now could be a good time for portfolio diversification.