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Doncaster’s Rental Market: Everything You Need to Know

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Doncaster’s Rental Market: Everything You Need to Know
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Doncaster offers more affordable rents than nearby Sheffield or Leeds, offering smart opportunities for buy-to-let investors. Situated on key rail lines and motorway networks, the town appeals to tenants who value easy transport connectivity across South Yorkshire and into Nottinghamshire. 

Ongoing town regeneration efforts, including a newly opened university campus, are attracting younger renters, too. With demand for both houses and flats unlikely to fade, Doncaster provides landlords with a diverse rental market that should be under serious consideration for a buy-to-let investment. 

Best areas for investing in Doncaster

Affordability advantages over larger neighbouring cities mean that many Doncaster areas typically present low-risk rental property opportunities capable of meeting a range of investment budgets and tenant preferences. 

Town Centre

Major transport infrastructure, significant development funding and a new university campus underpin the investment case for central Doncaster’s rental market, especially near the train station and Waterdale area. Parts of the town centre, like North Bridge, are still reasonably undiscovered, meaning the potential for buying at lower price points and benefiting from regeneration is high. 

Wheatley

Wheatley is just two miles from Doncaster town centre and has excellent connectivity via the A638 and a direct bus route. Historically, it has been a more affordable Doncaster suburb, offering a blend of Victorian terraces and more modern housing. Wheatley delivers opportunities with average house prices in the region of £139,000 and is in demand from younger professional tenants working in town.

Bessacarr

For newer stock with additional curb appeal, Bessacarr to the east provides family homes spanning detached, semi-detached and mews-style properties. Housing growth continues around the Bessacarr Farm development zone. While purchase costs may be higher than in some other areas, achievable rents benefit from the area’s popularity among families and proximity to good schools. Stronger long-term tenant commitments also appeal to investors here.

Balby

Just north of the town centre, Balby offers a mix of housing, from stone-built period terraces to more modern developments. It remains relatively affordable while located close to local shops, parks, and good bus routes. With several new builds emerging, Balby provides landlords with the opportunity to see long-term capital appreciation as regeneration filters through.

Woodlands

For anyone seeking high rental yields from students, Woodlands’ proximity to Doncaster University makes it an attractive proposition. Purpose-built student blocks have added stock here, though the opportunity remains for landlords to acquire supplementary shared houses or convert family homes to HMOs. Woodlands has emerged as the prime location to capture rising demand from the town’s 30,000-plus students needing affordable, convenient lodgings close to the college.

Average house prices in Doncaster

Compared to the nearby large cities of Sheffield and Leeds, Doncaster remains one of the most affordable areas in South Yorkshire and the wider region. According to Rightmove data, the average asking price for houses is about £178,000. This represents more than £50,000 savings over Sheffield’s mean of £237,000 and more than £70,000 less than the £250,000 average in Leeds. 

Indeed, when it comes to property pricing, Doncaster offers outstanding value for investors when buying an investment property. Plus, there are opportunities for those selling a tenanted property with renters already in place — the Doncaster property market has shown a consistent trend of gradual appreciation.

Average rental price in Doncaster

Meanwhile, the average monthly rent in Doncaster currently sits at approximately £650. However, it’s certainly possible to achieve higher rental figures closer to the £800 range. Landlords can secure strong rental yields here by lowering purchase costs rather than pushing rents upward. 

With ongoing investments bringing jobs and infrastructure upgrades, Doncaster is positioned for steady, sustainable growth. Compared to other Yorkshire districts, the city offers value for both buyers and tenants.

Council tax tenants can expect to pay in Doncaster

For tenants renting in Doncaster, council tax rates represent an added cost of living to factor into housing budgets. On average, council tax falls between Band A, at £1,385 per year, and Band D, at £1,969 annually, as of 2023. With a significant portion of Doncaster’s rental stock categorised as Band A or B properties, many tenants find themselves on the lower end of that range. 

However, council tax still contributes over £100 monthly for many renters on top of their housing payments. When evaluating affordability across the Doncaster area at average rental rates, prospective tenants should budget an additional £115-165 per month for council tax, depending on the property’s assigned band.

What makes Doncaster so appealing to renters?

More than just a low-cost alternative to South Yorkshire’s larger cities, Doncaster offers renters genuine livability and desirable amenities. Transport connectivity provides ease of access across the broader region, while significant infrastructure upgrades, including the new East Coast Mainline rail hub, boost options for commuting beyond Yorkshire as well. 

Ongoing town regeneration efforts are revitalising leisure and nightlife in the urban core for younger demographics. Quieter neighbourhoods with access to nature, sports facilities, and good schools cater to families. Major employers across transportation, distribution, manufacturing, and the NHS offer diverse job opportunities combined with economic resilience even during recessions, so tenants can depend on Doncaster’s job market. 

For renters who prioritise affordability alongside livability, Doncaster provides appealing stability, whether single young professionals, growing families, or student sharers.

Is Doncaster an expensive place to live?

Doncaster is not considered an expensive place to live in terms of day-to-day costs. The average monthly living expenditure is approximately £1,053, which positions it near the global average for cost of living, making it an affordable UK location. 

For some comparisons, an inexpensive meal for one averages about £10 in local restaurants, highlighting very reasonable dining prices. Monthly rents also come in affordable versus national figures. A decent one-bedroom flat in central Doncaster costs roughly £400 per month — well below averages for England’s major cities. 

With grocery bills, entertainment, transportation, and most other basic needs proving budget-friendly for residents, Doncaster enables relatively comfortable living without significantly cutting into incomes. The town remains inexpensive for common purchases and services, translating into attractive affordability for renters and homeowners alike.

Why you should invest in a buy-to-let in Doncaster

With property and rental prices still below Yorkshire averages, Doncaster delivers strong buy-to-let investment value for money. Landlords can achieve competitive yields leveraging lower purchase costs, outperforming yields typically seen in more expensive neighbouring areas. 

Continued investment underpins solid demand drivers from young professionals and families alike seeking affordable rents. These factors suggest healthy, sustainable tenant demand for years ahead. For risk mitigation, Doncaster’s diverse economy, spanning logistics, manufacturing, sciences, and education, typically creates resilient employment even during economic uncertainty. 

With plenty of established suburbs and popular villages surrounding affordable urban areas, landlords enjoy flexibility, whether aiming to acquire lower-cost period terraces or more aspirational family houses. Doncaster is a relatively undiscovered market, allowing buy-to-let investors to establish their portfolios early. At the same time, sustainable fundamentals remain supportive ahead of broader recognition.

Investing in Doncaster

With strong value propositions for both investors and tenants, Doncaster’s rental property market shows promising resilience even amidst economic uncertainty. Savvy landlords can build robust portfolios in this increasingly attractive Yorkshire town by leveraging affordability advantages while tapping into demand drivers from regeneration and infrastructure upgrades.

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