The charming city of Durham is a gem in the Northeast of England, known for its breathtaking cathedral, prestigious university, and vibrant local community. If you’re considering investing in a buy-to-let property here, Durham offers a wealth of opportunities. Here, we’ll explore the best areas in Durham to invest in a buy-to-let and that will make your investment in the city a success. 

Durham caste and cathedral

Introduction to Durham

Nestled in the heart of Northeast England, Durham is a city steeped in history and charm, with its origins tracing back over a thousand years. The story of Durham begins around AD 995 when a group of monks from Lindisfarne chose this strategic loop of the River Wear as the final resting place for the relics of St Cuthbert. This decision marked the beginning of Durham’s journey from a humble monastic settlement to a city of religious and historical significance. 

The construction of the Durham Cathedral and the adjacent Durham Castle in the 11th century further cemented the city’s status as a place of worship and a stronghold of Norman power in the north of England. Together, these magnificent structures now form a UNESCO World Heritage Site, attracting visitors from around the globe to marvel at their architectural beauty and historical depth.

Throughout the centuries, Durham has evolved, reflecting the changing times and fortunes of England. Fast forward to the Industrial Revolution, and Durham emerged as a coal mining powerhouse, with the industry shaping the landscape and economy of the region until its decline in the late 20th century. 

Today, Durham is a vibrant blend of historical treasures and modern vitality, home to one of the UK’s leading universities and a lively community. Its rich past, combined with the contemporary pulse of city life, makes Durham a fascinating place to explore, learn, and live.

Why invest in Durham

Once the heart of coal mining, Durham has evolved and the public sector now plays a pivotal role in its economy. Major employers include the University of Durham, the University Hospital of North Durham, and Durham County Council, alongside notable institutions like HM Land Registry, HM Passport Office, and HM Prisons. Durham Constabulary’s headquarters adds to the city’s significance, while the innovative mobile-only Atom Bank showcases Durham’s blend of tradition and modernity.

Regeneration projects

Durham County Council is on a mission to breathe new life into the towns and villages of Durham, to enhance the places where people live, work, and play. Through their ambitious Towns and Villages programme, they’re picking up the pace on these improvements. 

In the past decade, £38 million has been used to revitalise our town centres, and their current investment plans are set to boost job opportunities, upgrade transport links, enhance housing, and bolster local businesses. 

Looking ahead, they’re dedicating an additional £20 million to support vulnerable communities, as well as allocating £5 million to empower their Area Action Partnerships, working together on regeneration projects.

The Towns and Villages programme

So, what does this programme entail exactly? Let’s take a look at some of the main goals: 


  • To support retailers and businesses during unpredictable times


  • To revamp town centres to make them resilient to evolving economic conditions


  • To create more employment opportunities with better jobs


  • To improve walking and cycling infrastructure


  • To solve housing issues that include empty properties and pockets of low demand across the county 


Also, it is worth highlighting that the five themes within this programme are: 


  1. Strategic investments 


  1. Housing and community


  1. Environment and health


  1. Built environment


  1. Transport and connectivity


Investing in a city that has a focus on these types of improvements is extremely beneficial to your property portfolio and being a landlord. 

Things to do in Durham

Durham is a treasure trove of attractions, with sites like the magnificent Durham Castle and Cathedral, both UNESCO World Heritage sites that captivate visitors with their historic brilliance. Nature and history enthusiasts alike will enjoy the serene Durham University Botanic Garden, delve into the past at the Museum of Archaeology, explore diverse cultures at the Oriental Museum, honour military history at the Durham Light Infantry Museum, and find peace at the tranquil Finchale Priory.

With a bustling tourist scene drawing around 19 million visitors annually, Durham presents a golden opportunity for property investors and landlords to tap into the Airbnb and holiday let markets, offering unique stays in this picturesque city and its charming surroundings.

Durham castle.

Property market overview

The housing market in Durham is a diverse one and caters to different budgets and needs. Let’s take a closer look at why this is. Generally speaking, Durham is a low-property price area, offering lucrative opportunities for investors and landlords alike. Let’s take a closer look at the rental demand in Durham. 

Rental demand

Durham shines as a top choice for property investment in the UK, celebrated for its impressive rental yields and affordable property prices. According to Zoopla, the North East where Durham is situated, boasts an average yield of 9.3% with an average monthly rent of £695. 

This makes it an attractive spot for investors looking for solid returns, and its friendly asking prices mean it’s especially appealing for new landlords working with a tighter budget. A great opportunity awaits in Durham for those ready to dive into the property market!

The best areas to invest in buy-to-let property in Durham

So, now that we know the high rental yield that Durham brings, let’s take a look at the best areas to invest in buy-to-let properties. 

Durham City

Durham City offers old-period properties, as well as newly built apartments and houses within the price range of approximately £190,000. The area also offers rental yields of around 4.3% on average.

Eastern suburbs in the area include: 


  • Gilesgate
  • Gilesgate Moor
  • Dragonville


Northern suburbs in the area include:

  • Durham Moor
  • Framwellgate Moor
  • Pity Me


Western suburbs in the area include: 

  • Crossgate Moor
  • Elvet Hill
  • Nevilles Cross
  • Nevilles Cross Bank


The Durham Area

Property in the Durham area range between approximately £85,000 – £150,000 with rental yields ranging from 4.2% – 6.7%.

There is a mixed range of property investment opportunities in the areas around Durham, including popular commuter villages and mid-priced property areas. Some areas also include former mining areas that have cheaper properties available for investment. 

Durham is not just a city with historical significance; it’s a lively, growing community with a strong rental demand driven by its universities, hospitals, and local economy. The city’s transport links, including its railway station with direct services to London and Edinburgh, make it an accessible and attractive place to live.

Investing in Durham means becoming part of a city that blends ancient charm with modern living, offering a high quality of life and a robust rental market. Whether you’re drawn to the vibrant city centre or the quieter surrounding areas, Durham has the potential to make your buy-to-let investment a prosperous one.

If you need to find the best deals on buy-to-let insurance, make sure to contact one of our friendly team members today on 01788 818 670.

We won't be beaten on any like for like landlord insurance quote.

Get a quote