I was chatting to a potential investor the other day who was considering buying a property in High Barnes "as it's close to the Hospital" and this got me thinking whether this assumption about Sunderland Royal Hospital staff living close to their work really rings true...
We know that anecdotally, many properties we manage in and around the hospital have been let to nurses and hospital staff at some point but we know that equally many tenants living in SR4 work in the City Centre or further afield
I did a bit of digging, looking at recent employment stats from the latest census data and the figures make interesting reading
On first glance, more Health Workers in Sunderland live in the SR4 postcode than any other area, with 3,221 Health Workers in SR4...so it looks like the assumption is true!
Dig a little deeper though and SR4 has the largest working population of all the Sunderland postcodes with 18,654 working adults...so is it surprising that it has a greater number of Health Workers than elsewhere?
Looking at Health Workers as a percentage of the working population in the area, Health Workers represent 17.2% of the working population in SR4, which is the highest percentage of Health Workers as a proportion of the total workforce in any of the Sunderland postcodes
That said, there's not a massive difference between SR4, with 17.2% Health Workers and the other areas, which have between 13.6% and 15.0% Health Workers as a percentage of the total working adults
If it was true that Sunderland Royal Hospital workers sought out accommodation close to their place of work in SR4 wouldn't you expect a much bigger difference against the other areas than only 3 or 4 percentage points?
Look at it the other way and with 13,205 Health Workers in Sunderland and only 3,221 living in SR4, that means 76% of Health Workers living in Sunderland DON'T live in SR4!
So what does this really tell us? First, that it's always good to challenge assumptions and second, there's no such thing as too much research into an area
Buy to Let investors need to get a deep understanding of an area prior to investing - not just in terms of the available properties & expected rental returns but they also need to get a real understanding of who their tenants may be both now and in the future
SR4 is a good area to invest in and having the hospital on the doorstep certainly does no harm, if you can find the right property and you understand your potential tenants to deliver a property to appeal to them
But that's not to say it's the only option - after all, many investors look towards the SR5 area..."because it's close to Nissan..."
For more information on the Sunderland property market or for a free, no obligation chat about any aspect of property investment in Sunderland give me a call on 0191 567 8577 or email firstname.lastname@example.org