If you mention to people in Southampton any of the following – Vosper Thornycroft, Supermarine, the Spitfire, and the Floating Bridge – they will tell you that you are in Woolston. Even though these four things are no longer there.
In it’s heyday, Woolston could have been best described as the industrial heartland of Southampton. You had Vospers building ships, and Vickers at the Supermarine factory, building planes (especially the Spitfire during the second world war). It would have been a hive of activity.
And from this grew Woolston as a large residental area, for all the workers and their families. It had it’s own shopping centre, churches, pubs and social clubs, railway station, and even it’s own bus station. Though the bus station was more to do with the Floating Bridge not being able to take buses onboard – so passengers would have to disembark at Woolston, take the ferry, and get another bus on the other side.
From the mid 70’s, Woolston started going into a decline.
The Floating Bridge stopped in 1977, when the massive Itchen Bridge opened. The new bridge pretty much bypassed Woolston’s town centre – which didn’t really help it’s high street much, as it was now much easier to get into the centre of Southampton.
During the 80’s and 90’s, Woolston’s fortunes took a further turn for the worst, as did a number of other towns which relied on heavy industry for it’s workforce and economy.
Vosper’s workload was decreasing as more ship building was taking place overseas, so the workforce decreased dramatically. In 2004, Vosper’s finally closed it’s ship building yard in Woolston, and transferred to Portsmouth. This pretty much ripped the heart out of Woolston, as Vospers was the last remaining heavy industry in the area.
All this is now starting to change, with the Centenary Quay development of the old Vosper’s site – it is a massive development, which is beginning to breath new life into Woolston, and turning it into a much more respected area than it once was.
Woolston now has more employed people than most other areas of Southampton, and because of the new developments, it also has a higher than average number of childless couples.
Your average semi-deteched house is worth £178k, and with rental yield of about 6%. A brand new 2 bedroom apartment in Centenary Quay will set you back £150k, but could provide a rental yield of around 6.42%.
Ten years ago, you would have been hard pushed to consider investing in Woolston. But now it is totally different, and Woolston is fast becoming an area where you should consider investing in.
So if you are thinking of buying a rental property in Woolston, or Southampton generally, you should give me a call (Lee) on 023 8001 0434. I can come with you on property viewings, and be able to offer advise on the potential rental price, and what work would need doing (if any) there and then. Giving you the confidence to make that purchase much quicker.