Mapped: The UK’s burglary hotspots

When investing in a rental property, location is one of the most important things to consider. Property prices in your target market, as well as tenant demand and housing supply, are all important factors in what makes a buy-to-let investment worthwhile. It is important to remember that your property will need to appeal to tenants too. On a more local level, your property’s proximity to amenities will significantly impact its desirability, as well as its general quality.

One aspect that can be easily overlooked, though, is crime rate. An area with a high crime rate will be less desirable to live in than an area with a lower crime rate, which means that your rental income can be affected. Burglaries can also cause property damage, which can bring about their own expenses.

Where are the UK’s burglary hotspots? We map the top (orange) and bottom (blue) 20 postcodes across the country, using data from MoneySuperMarket. The price comparison site has analysed 2 million quotes on its site from the last two years, ranking areas by the number of burgarly claims for every 1,000 quotes. London, perhaps unsurprisingly, remains the main hub for burglary claims, accounting for 16 of the top 20. Redbridge, in the north east, is the number one spot, with 54.7 claims per 1,000 quotes. The N20 postcode of Whetstone, Totteridge and Oakleigh Park is second, with 52.6.

Outside of London, the highest-ranked postcode is LS5, the Hawksworth and Kirkstall area of Leeds, which has a rate of 48.3.

What a difference a postcode makes…

What does that mean for investors? We have cross-referenced the burglary rate data with the top 10 buy-to-let hotspots (green), using research from TotallyMoney.com. That reveals Leeds to be the top town in the UK for landlords, with a typical yield of 10.79 percent, based on average house prices and rents. Bradford, York, Preston and Middlesborough complete the top five.

Mapping the data together highlights the importance of choosing the right part of a town to invest in: while the Leeds postcode of LS5 is the highest-ranked non-London area for burglary claims, it is LS6 that is the highest-ranked postcode for yields, emphasising the difference that a postcode can make.

At the other end of the scale, MoneySuperMarket highlights Cardiff’s CF31 as one of the safest areas in the UK, with a burglary rate of 1.4, while TotallyMoney ranks the city’s CF24 postcode as the UK’s 10th best place for buy-to-let returns.

Postcodes that saw zero claims include Norfolk’s NR26, Liverpool City Centre (L3), Manchester City Centre (M1), and Montrose (DD10). Manchester’s City Centre and Liverpool’s City Centre are ranked the seventh best and sixth best buy-to-let hotspots, making them doubly attractive to landlords.

Crime rates are, of course, only one factor to consider when choosing a location for investment. The good news is that the UK’s overall burglary claims rate has fallen by 8 per cent in the last year.

Kevin Pratt, consumer affairs expert at MoneySuperMarket, says: “It is encouraging to see the overall rate of burglary claims has dropped eight per cent in the last year, in line with the fall in recorded burglaries. That’s no doubt thanks to improvements in home security, although the falling cost of electrical items, such as TVs, might be significant as, simply put, there’s less need for burglars to steal items than in the past.”

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