The North West city came top due to its winning combination of high rental demand and robust property values. The average property price in Manchester has risen by an average of 5.6% every year since 2010, to its current level of £247.341. Demand for rented properties is strong, with 31% of the city’s residents privately renting, from students to young professionals and families.

The average monthly rent per room* in Manchester (£454) is also high compared to other towns and cities in the North West.

Arnold Henry, a landlord in Greater Manchester, said: “I am delighted to be part of the buy to let community in Manchester, which is consistently voted as one of the best places to live in the UK and beyond.

"I'm not surprised it's come top of Aldermore's Buy to Let City Tracker as the best place to rent out a property. Demand from tenants is currently very high in the city."

Richard Ignatowicz, managing director of Mortgage Savers, said: “Manchester city centre is changing dramatically with lots of new skyscraper developments changing the skyline and significant numbers of apartments being bought by non-locals, particularly from the South of England and overseas investors.

“Yields have come down but they are still better than most other areas, so the demand from landlords is not yet abating.”

Our Buy to Let City Tracker analyses a range of factors** to determine property hotspots for landlords, from average rent to house price growth and vacancies as a proportion of housing stock.

Capital returns

London came second in the list of best cities for landlords, after falling down the chart over the last few years.

The capital unsurprisingly has the highest average room rent in all of UK cities (at £660 a month) and it has a large proportion of private renters in proportion to the city population – 29%.

Yields in the capital are modest at 5.1% but property growth remains robust.

New entrants into the top 10 included Peterborough (5th) and Milton Keynes (6th). Chris Wilson, director at Michael Graham Private Finance, said “Peterborough has fantastic rail links to London, the North and West and sitting minutes from the A1, it has great road connections too.

“This gives both current and future landlords an excellent investment opportunity.”

The East of England performed strongly overall, with seven cities in the top 20, including Cambridge, Luton and Norwich.

Least attractive cities for landlords

The bottom of the Buy to Let City Tracker table remained largely unchanged from a year earlier, with Sunderland, Newport and Swansea ranking as the least attractive major UK cities for buy to let investment.

Oxford fell from second place at the end of 2021 to 11th place in December 2022, due to a fall in average rents from £627 to £595, alongside lower overall returns and average yields in the city.

Northampton, Leicester and Derby also fell down the list his year, dropping to 24th, 28th and 32nd place, respectively.

Jon Cooper, head of mortgage distribution at Aldermore, said: “Our Buy to Let City Tracker highlights how quickly the UK housing market moves across the country. Year on year, we’ve seen the cities offering the best investment for landlords shift consistently.

“Landlords have to be on top of their game to ensure they maximise their investment, looking for areas that offer value not only for the short term but for the longer term too.

“The mortgage industry has experienced interest rate hikes, uncertainty in the UK economy, as well as stamp duty shifts and looming Energy Performance Certificate changes; factors that are not only affecting landlords but also their tenants.

“We encourage landlords to work together with their brokers, reviewing their portfolios to ensure they’re future-proofed for further shocks that may lie ahead.”

Buy to let City Tracker chart 2022

See the full list of 50 cities in our latest Buy to Let City Tracker below, from the best for landlord investment to the least attractive:

  1. Manchester
  2. London
  3. Bristol
  4. Cambridge
  5. Peterborough
  6. Milton Keynes
  7. Luton
  8. Reading
  9. Southend
  10. Coventry
  11. Oxford
  12. Basildon
  13. Norwich
  14. Brighton
  15. Nottingham
  16. Birmingham
  17. Glasgow
  18. Southampton
  19. Swindon
  20. Chelmsford
  21. Edinburgh
  22. York
  23. Portsmouth
  24. Northampton
  25. Maidstone
  26. Plymouth
  27. Telford
  28. Leicester
  29. Bournemouth
  30. Liverpool
  31. Stoke
  32. Derby
  33. Wigan
  34. Hull
  35. Wakefield
  36. Barnsley
  37. Newcastle
  38. Warrington
  39. Leeds
  40. Belfast
  41. Doncaster
  42. Dundee
  43. Cardiff
  44. Aberdeen
  45. Bradford
  46. Wolverhampton
  47. Sheffield
  48. Sunderland
  49. Newport
  50. Swansea


*Average monthly rent per room is worked out using the estimated annual rent for an average property, divided by the average number of rooms per rental property in the city, divided by 12.

**Aldermore’s Buy to Let City Tracker was designed by Opinium and comprises five core indicators: average rent per room per month, short-term yield for a new buy to let purchase, average property price rise over the last 10 years, proportion of vacant properties in the city and size of the private rental market. The index uses a series of secondary data sources including the ONS, Census and other official housing statistics.