Your Guide to Living in Leeds

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Your Guide to Living in Leeds
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Are you considering a move to Leeds? This vibrant city in West Yorkshire is a unique blend of culture, nightlife, education, and shopping. It offers a diverse range of amenities and job opportunities that cater to all ages and interests, be it for students, young professionals, or families. The city also boasts a variety of residential areas, including peaceful suburbs with ample green spaces. Intrigued? Discover more about life in Leeds, from average living costs to the top attractions, below. 

What is Leeds like?

With a population of over 810,000, Leeds is the largest city in Yorkshire and a critical economic hub. 

As such, working professionals can develop careers here in various sectors, including digital tech, finance, education, and manufacturing. 

Meanwhile, the University of Leeds, a prestigious Russell Group institution, and Leeds Beckett University, known for its strong focus on professional and vocational education, attract thousands of students from around the world annually. These universities offer a wide range of courses and have a vibrant student life, contributing to the city’s lower-than-average median age, which is just 35-36. 

A cultural hub

With that in mind, Leeds is known for its youthful, trendy feel. Think chic cocktail bars, hidden nightclubs, vintage markets, international restaurants and a thriving live music scene. 

However, the city is also steeped in history, with stunning original architecture that dates back to the Victorian era.

Some iconic landmarks include the Leeds Town Hall, a magnificent example of Victorian civic architecture, the Corn Exchange, a Grade I listed building that was once a trading hub, and the Leeds Grand Theatre, a stunning Edwardian building that hosts a variety of performances. And, of course, the city centre’s ever-popular Victorian shopping arcades – an absolute must-see!

Living in Leeds comes with the added advantage of excellent transport links. You can hop on a direct train to London and be there in just 2 hours. And if you’re a frequent flyer, the international airport is a mere 30 minutes away from the city centre. 

Leeds also offers great walkability, ensuring you can explore the city at your own pace. The city is home to good schools, spacious parks, excellent sports facilities, and is in close proximity to the Yorkshire Dales. It’s no wonder that the Sunday Times named Leeds the best place to live in the North and North East Region in 2024

Improving safety measures

It’s important to note that while Leeds does have a higher crime rate compared to other areas in West Yorkshire, the city has implemented robust safety measures. Last year, there were an average of 151 crimes per 1,000 people, the second highest in the region. However, if you’re new to the area, it’s advisable to choose your neighbourhood in Leeds carefully, especially if you have a young family or are looking for a peaceful retirement spot.

Things to do in Leeds

There is certainly no shortage of things to do in Leeds. 


Residents and visitors alike can explore the area’s heritage at Kirkstall Abbey and Leeds City Museum. The well-known Royal Armouries Museum is home to a world-class collection of arms and armour from around the globe. If you like art, Leeds Art Gallery is the perfect place to spend a rainy afternoon.

Live Entertainment

Additionally, Leeds boasts multiple live entertainment venues, including Belgrave Music Hall, West Yorkshire Playhouse, and the Northern Ballet Theatre. The city’s First Direct Arena also hosts significant touring concerts, comedy shows, and more. 


If shopping is faster, head to the unique and historic Kirkgate Market or explore the many shops along Briggate. Are you looking for designer stores and independent boutiques? Victoria Leeds shopping centre includes a wide range of high-end shops and restaurants.


Meanwhile, Leeds’s main sporting action takes place at Elland Road football stadium and Headingley Stadium, which hosts both test cricket and rugby league matches. 

But that’s not all! Our blog has more things to do in Leeds during your spare time. 

What you need to know before moving to Leeds

If we’ve piqued your interest and you’re ready to learn more, look no further. Here are some other essential things to consider when considering the pros and cons of moving to Leeds. The city has a comprehensive healthcare system, with several hospitals and clinics offering a wide range of services. The healthcare system is known for its high standards and accessibility, ensuring that residents have access to quality healthcare when they need it.

Cost of living

As with any city, affordability is relative. Compared to London and Oxford, Leeds has a much lower cost of living. For reference, a litre of milk currently costs £1.13, and a loaf of bread is £1.35. For public transport users, First Bus single fares start at £1.60 and are capped at an affordable rate of £2. Alternatively, you’ll spend £1.48 per litre to fuel your car.

Additionally, Adzuna found that the city’s average salary is now £37,823—higher than many other northern towns and cities. But rents in Leeds are comparatively high to match. Right now, the average 2-bedroom property will set you back £1,237 per month, while 3 bedrooms are being let for £1,808. Due to this, over 60% of the employed population work 31-48 hours per week.

Average property price

Similarly, house prices in Leeds have increased 5% on the 2021 peak, despite last year’s lull in sales. According to Rightmove, the average sold price over the previous year was £257,718, just below the national average. Most of these were semi-detached properties, which cost £256,592. However, you can also purchase more affordable terraced homes for £185,301. The city offers a variety of neighborhoods, each with its own unique character and amenities, so you’re sure to find a place that suits your needs and preferences. 

Of course, some areas of the city are more expensive than others. So, check out our housing cost guide in Leeds if you’d like to gauge each neighbourhood’s prices before moving. 

Average bills

Whether you rent or buy, you must factor in monthly bills. That includes utilities (£243 for two people), internet (£21), gym membership (£30) and council tax too. This varies based on property size and location but starts at £1370 per year for Band-A homes in 2024/2025. Meanwhile, Band C and D homes cost considerably more at £1827- £2055. And if you drive, you can expect to pay around £1047 for an annual premium in the Leeds/ Sheffield area. That’s a massive 44% increase versus last year, based on Confused.com’s latest report!

Want to move out of Leeds?

Despite its appeal, the cost of living in Leeds is increasing fast. As such, some homeowners and buy-to-let investors are moving out of the city for better affordability and higher rental yields. If you’re one of them and want to sell your house fast in Leeds, get in touch. As trusted cash home buyers, we can remove any guesswork and buy your home in as little as one week – or whatever timeframe suits you. Request a free cash offer now to get started.

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