Affordable, central, well-connected and cosmopolitan, Leicester is a popular choice for property buyers.
The East Midlands city has plenty to offer, including a strong economy, diverse and interesting leisure pursuits, major redevelopment and – as Britain’s first European Sustainable City – plenty of green spaces too. All good news if you are planning to buy a home in Leicester.
How much will it cost to buy?
For buyers, the current average asking price in Leicester is £231,738. The table, below, shows how many properties have sold in Leicester over the past 12 months, the average sale price and the current average value based on Zoopla's data.
What about renters?
Average asking rents for homes in Leicester currently stand at £868 per month. Renters will need to budget £803 per month for a two-bedroom flat and £1,208 for a four-bedroom house.
Finding an estate agent
Whether you’re buying or renting, you can choose the right agent with our handy AgentFinder tool. It allows you to compare the number of listings and time it takes to sell from local agents. There's a total of 123 sales and letting agents in Leicester listed on Zoopla.
What to expect living in Leicester
Sitting right in the centre of England, Leicester is a vibrant hub of culture, heritage and modernity, offering easy access to the rest of the country.
But while its transport links make it prime commuter territory, Leicester is also a popular place to work as well as live – and ranked highly in Totally Money’s Best Places in the UK to Make a Living survey.
You’ll find a wide range of industry in Leicester, including engineering, manufacturing and retail. Education is also a major employer, with its internationally-renowned institutions – Leicester University and De Montfort University.
This, combined with the city’s affordable housing, reasonable cost of living and natural surroundings (sitting just on the edge of the National Forest), makes Leicester an ideal place for professionals, students and young families alike.
Where to start your property search
The city centre of Leicester is mainly characterised by its many redevelopments. Former industrial and office buildings, even churches, have been converted into stylish modern flats, penthouses and loft apartments. Prices and desirability make these ideal for either first-time buyers, buy-to-let investors or city professionals.
Also within the city centre, keep an eye out for property opportunities arising from the ongoing multi-million-pound regeneration of disused industrial land around the River Soar. This development is tipped to become a thriving neighbourhood of family housing and apartments, office space and light industry.
If you are in the market for something more suburban, Aylestone, Little Stretton, Knighton Fields and Evington are popular locations around Leicester, offering both period and modern terraces, semis and detached properties – as well as flats.
A little further outside the city limits of Leicester sits Wigston. A postcode survey carried out by Royal Mail in 2015 identified Wigston as the most desirable place to live in Leicestershire, and the 11th most desirable in England. Definitely worth a look.
Six miles from the centre of the city is the town of Syston, where you'll find amenities such as supermarkets, pubs, high-street shops, a library and a leisure centre. There’s a wide range of property types on offer here, including flats, bungalows and houses.
What’s for sale?
… for the first-time buyer
If you’re looking for a low maintenance way to step onto the property ladder, this two-bedroom city centre apartment in the Cultural Quarter fits the bill perfectly. Extra perks include a spacious open plan kitchen and living area, a large master bedroom with an ensuite bathroom and an allocated underground parking space.
Available via Whitegates
…for the family
With four bedrooms, two bathrooms and two reception rooms spread out over three floors, there’s plenty of space for a family to spread out in this Victorian terrace. There’s no need to worry about DIY, as a sleek black kitchen, modern bathrooms and new carpets throughout the ground floor were all recently installed by the current owner.
Available via Barkers
... for renters
Fitness fanatics will love this two-bedroom apartment in the heart of Leicester thanks to its extensive leisure facilities. There’s a swimming pool, sauna and a fitness centre on site that offers bootcamp and aqua aerobics exclusively for residents. You’ll also have the option to rent it furnished or unfurnished – perfect for first-time renters.
Available via JLL
... with the biggest discount
Those looking for a property on a tight budget should check out this second-floor apartment a stone’s throw from the centre of Leicester. It’s asking price has been reduced from £110,000 and it’s up for online auction, so you could bag a bargain. The property has been well maintained too, so it’s bound to catch the attention of investors looking to move tenants in quickly.
Available via Keywest Estate Agents
The most popular Leicester property currently for sale is…
The property that’s had everyone clicking recently is this semi-detached family home with masses of potential. The kitchen and bathroom have already been modernised but the other rooms in the house could be updated. There could also be the opportunity to extend the property to the side provided you’re granted planning permission.
Available via Connells
There are 212 schools and colleges within five miles of Leicester, 31 of which have earned Ofsted’s highest 'Outstanding' rating. You can compare school and college performance and find more information on the Government website.
Getting around in Leicester
One of the best-connected cities in the UK, Leicester is located at the epicentre of the nation’s road and rail network.
Train: The rail network, operated by East Midlands Trains and CrossCountry, offers services from Leicester station to Nottingham, Sheffield, Birmingham and over a dozen other towns and cities. Direct trains run regularly to London St Pancras, with a journey time of just over an hour.
Car: The M1 is just next to Leicester and provides a direct run to Sheffield and Leeds to the north, and London to the south. It also offers links with other major motorways and A-roads, such as the M40, M6 and A1, for access to the east and west.
Air: East Midlands Airport is just a 30-minute drive away, and offers direct national and European flights, as well as links to international destinations. Ryanair, Flybe, Jet2.com and TUI Airways are among the airlines operating from the airport.
Things to do in Leicester
Leicester offers a range of activity and entertainment all within a pretty compact setting. Here are some examples of how you could spend tour time there:
Shopping: The largest shopping centre in Leicester is Highcross. It’s crammed full of big brand names, eclectic food and dining venues and has a 12-screen cinema.
The more affordable Haymarket Shopping Centre and Leicester Market is close by as well as the network of busy lanes with their independent emporiums, boutiques and coffee shops. Church Gate is home to some of the oldest and more traditional shops in the city.
Sport: Leicester City Football Club has to be first on the list in terms of the city’s sporting accolades, having shot to fame and notoriety by defying the 5,000-1 odds and wining the Premier League in 2016.
But this shouldn’t overshadow the many other sporting clubs in the city, which include Leicestershire County Cricket Club, Leicester Tigers Rugby Club, Leicester Lions Speedway and Leicester Racecourse.
History and heritage: In 2013, Leicester became internationally renowned as the resting place of Richard III, whose remains were found beneath a car park and were subsequently reinterred in Leicester Cathedral.
The city has responded to public interest since then by opening a dedicated King Richard III visitor centre. You’ll also find walking tours and audio trails.
Other historic buildings and museums in the city include the Abbey Pumping Station, Belgrave Hall and Gardens, the Guildhall and the Jewry Wall, which was once part of a Roman bath complex.
Food and drink: The city boasts an array of culinary delights with everything from cosy coffee shops and award winning restaurants to traditional real ale pubs on offer.
If you’re after a full English breakfast to wake you up in the morning or quick bite for lunch, head to Gilly’s Sandwich Bar on Watergate Lane. For a taste of Asia Lilu Cuisine on Highcross Street, where dishes include oven roasted duck and tandoori chicken – there’s also a vegan menu.
For a good old-fashioned burger, try Crafty Burger, where there are monthly specials along with eight staple options to work your way through.
Quench your thirst at The Globe, which has been serving fine ales and food to the people of Leicester since 1720. The dog-friendly pub offers a broad selection of ales, whiskey, cider, lagers and wines.
Attractions: Leicester’s National Space Centre boasts six galleries and the UK’s largest domed planetarium. A fascinating day out for families and space enthusiasts, visitors can view space suits, rockets, satellites and meteorites and explore the universe via interactive displays.
The 42-metre-high Rocket Tower also houses Blue Streak and Thor Able rockets, as well as the Gagarin Experience, Apollo Lunar Lander and real Moon Rock.
Festivals and fun: Many of the region’s biggest festivals take place in Leicester, including comedy and music events along with cultural and community celebrations.
They include the Leicester Caribbean Carnival, the Rathayatra Chariot Festival, the Leicester International Music Festival, Leicester’s Summer Food and Drink Festival and Diwali Celebrations along the colourful Golden Mile.
A must-do in Leicester
Check out Narborough Road, a mile-long stretch of quirky second-hand shops, bars, cafes and restaurants that’s become officially known as ‘the most diverse street in England’.
5 reasons to live in Leicester
Lots of regeneration, new-builds and conversions
Green space – Leicester City Council looks after more than 130 parks and open spaces across the city
A vibrant calendar of events
Decent ratio of earnings to cost of living
Range of property types at affordable prices