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Top UK and European cathedral cities to invest in property

25 Oct 2019

Cathedrals are often a good indicator of vibrant, successful cities.

In the city of Porto, Portugal, the Sé do Porto Cathedral is one of the oldest buildings. It has spectacular views over the city and river, with a splendid interior.

International property expert and founder of Hurst & Wills, Lisa Bathurst, provides some tips on cathedral cities to consider for investment, as well as the developments on offer.

“A cathedral is so much more than just a beautiful, large church. It adds a sense of ceremony and gravitas to a place and creates a wonderful central gathering space,” explains Bathurst. “Generally, cathedral cities are not only beautiful, but also have excellent schools, transport links and high-end amenities, making these places worthy investments.”

Manchester

Manchester’s cathedral is the centre of a vibrant worshipping community and is a popular venue for concerts and exhibitions. It has been centre stage to the city's history for nearly 600 years. The cathedral began from a royal charter signed by Henry V in 1421 that granted permission for a collegiate church to be built. The church became a cathedral in 1847 when the new Manchester diocese was created.

“A stone’s throw away from this heart of the city is Uptown Manchester, with premium riverside apartments situated on the banks of the River Irwell,” says Bathurst. “In Uptown you get the convenience of city living from a stylish waterfront location. The development comprises of 156 one and two bedroom apartments with luxurious interiors, large communal areas and private terraces, built in a contemporary industrial style. The apartments are priced from £224 000, with a 6% net yield."

Liverpool

Liverpool’s cathedral is Britain's largest cathedral, the fifth largest in Europe and the world’s biggest Anglican cathedral. This magnificent neo-Gothic building was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, who also created Britain’s famous red telephone boxes.

“Close by is Hatton Gardens in Liverpool City Centre,” says Bathurst. “This quiet area is sandwiched between the Georgian Quarter, which is the retail core, and the commercial district. It’s the perfect location for city centre living, near to transport, 100m from St Johns Garden and a 4-minute walk from Lime Street. This development is perfect for young professionals and couples. There are studio, two and three bedroom apartments available from £100 000.”

Birmingham

“Property prices near this cathedral - the third smallest in England - are rising fast,” says Bathurst. “We recommend Park Gate at Lyndon Place. This development is situated between Birmingham’s buzzing city centre and the international airport hub, and it’s also close to the new HS2 rail network. It’s made up of 126 spacious studio, one and two bedroom apartments, priced from £127 000. There is an expected rental yield of 6%, and it comes with a gym and reception area.”

London - St Paul's Cathedral

St Paul's Cathedral in London must be one of the world’s most famous cathedrals. It is situated on Ludgate Hill - the highest point in the City of London.

“Nearby you’ll find the Shoreditch Exchange, in Shoreditch - London's most evolving and strongest performing borough,” says Bathurst. “This luxury development is the essence of communal living, with private courtyards, a roof terrace, cinema room and sophisticated designer interiors, all within walking distance of the City.” Apartments are priced from £749 000 for a 99-year lease with a full title deed for the property.

Oxford

The spectacular Christ Church Cathedral has the uniquely dual role of also being the chapel of Christ Church at the University of Oxford.

“Property close by is the elegant and stylish Regent’s Park House, a groundbreaking development and contemporary addition to Oxfordshire’s landscape,” says Bathurst. “It is 15 minutes to Oxford or 41 minutes to London Marylebone by train. Apartments, priced from £250 000, are 200sqft, so larger than the average London apartment, and have an expected rental income of £15 000 per annum.”

Lisbon

The Lisbon Cathedral, called the Santa Maria Maior de Lisboa (Patriarchal Cathedral of Saint Mary Major), is the oldest place of worship in Lisbon, and survived the 1755 earthquake.

“There are exceptional new contemporary apartments spread among Lisbon’s most exciting, modern and family-friendly Park of Nations district,” says Bathurst. “This development was created by the award-winning Elegant Group and designed by internationally-acclaimed architect Eduardo Capinha Lopes. It’s a Martinhal Residence and combines luxury family living with superb amenities and excellent concierge services.”

Units are priced from €260 000, with a fixed net rental income for six years. All the properties are freehold. “This is a fantastic real estate investment opportunity,” says Bathurst.

Porto

Porto’s Cathedral, the Se do Porto, is one of the oldest buildings in Porto. It has spectacular views over the city and river, with a splendid interior.

Nearby, you’ll find The Rebello Hotel, a stunning warehouse conversion, currently being built on the banks of the river Douro overlooking Porto,” says Bathurst. “This magnificent building fuses a hotel development with residential apartments. It will have two restaurants, a destination spa with indoor and outdoor pools and a fashionable rooftop bar offering spectacular views across the river,” she says. “Apartments are priced from €4 000 per square metre with guaranteed returns within a rental pool and capital growth during construction.”

Évora

Évora's imposing cathedral, the Sé Catedral de Évora, is situated in the very heart of the old city and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

“The Mouraria neighbourhood is one of the most iconic places in Évora’s historical city centre. Its classic narrow alleys are filled with very typical beautiful houses, and amazing local restaurants. It’s also situated close to well-known landmarks like the Roman Diana temple and Giraldo Square, which creates a very special and pleasant atmosphere. Here you can get a three bedroom house from €280 000, which will qualify you for the €350 000 Golden Visa. We expect a yield of 4% on these types of properties,” she says.

Finally

“Before buying a property in a city abroad, make sure you contact an independent property specialist for personal advice suited to your unique wealth strategy,” says Bathurst.

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