Luton or Dunstable... Which is best for the Buy-to-Let investor?

Last week following a visit to our shop by one of our landlords with properties in Leighton Buzzard we took the opportunity while he was with us to compare the property market in Leighton Buzzard against Dunstable. This showed that both towns are faring well with Dunstable’s property market improving recently in part due to the unaffordable towns closer to London, but Leighton Buzzard with its train line into London still performing well due to its popularity with the London commuters.

Luton with its train line into London, London Luton Airport and access to the M1 attracts a large number of commuters and businesses, however over the last couple of years we have seen a number of tenants who were renting in Luton and maybe working in Luton moving to Dunstable to live. The new Busway has made it quick and convenient to travel back into Luton for work and also for the commuters into London the Busway only takes 12 minutes or less to reach the train station from Dunstable.

If we look at the same comparisons for Luton and Dunstable as we did for Leighton Buzzard and Dunstable we find that the average price of a flat in Luton is £134,000 and in Dunstable it is £130,000 as reported previously. The average rent for a flat in Luton is £720pcm and for Dunstable it was showing £725pcm so we can presume the rents are on par and the current property prices are not much different either.

Over the last 5 years the price increase in Luton was 32% compare to 26.5% for Dunstable, a significant difference for 2 towns so close to each other and showing that Luton had been the better performer.

Taking a look at prices paid over the last 12 months we saw on my previous article that the average price paid for all property in Dunstable over the last 12 months was £231,744 and over the last 6 months it was £248,334, an increase of just over 7%. This compares to a rise of just 4.8% on the average price paid in Luton from £214,435 to £223,436. This increase in Luton shows a better performance recently than Leighton Buzzard but not as strong as Dunstable.

As noted in the previous article the property market in Dunstable seems to be out performing the local towns on recent figures partly due to the London buyers and the attraction of the larger businesses to the area. We know that Amazon opened their fulfillment centre in Dunstable last October and I have heard from a source this afternoon that the larger warehouse and offices currently being constructed in front of it on Boscombe Road is also to be taken by Amazon. Could this be connected to the recently announced tie-up between Amazon and Morrisons ?