Most popular cities to invest in property, according to social media

Most popular cities to invest in a buy-to-let property, according to social media

From cafes and restaurants to the aesthetic of the properties, there are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a city to purchase a buy-to-let property. Nowadays, a location’s social media presence is also becoming an increasingly important measure of its popularity. Social media is a great chance to showcase a property or neighbourhood to prospective tenants, and it can be a useful tool for investors to understand how attractive a location could be for first-time landlords and renters. But which cities across England and Wales are the most popular on social media?

To find out, we’ve conducted new research, analysing social media data for some of the most populated cities across England and Wales. The research looks at the amount of hashtags focused on property, restaurants and cafes on both Instagram and TikTok for each city. We then compared this against the rental yield of the locations to determine the top places for landlords to invest. The team has also provided some tips to help landlords choose the right buy-to-let location for them. 

The most popular locations in England and Wales, according to social media

As we’ve mentioned, social media can be a helpful tool for promoting properties to prospective tenants. When it comes to property posts in particular, estate agents across the country use social media to share homes with potential renters, giving people a whistle-stop tour of a flat or house, including a roundup of prices, specifications and local amenities in the city. 

With this in mind, these are the most popular locations to invest in England and Wales when looking at social media and potential rental yield. To note, London was removed from the overall ranking due to its status as a world tourism destination.



Birmingham is one of the most popular cities in England and Wales across social media and rental yield metrics. The city has a combined total of 9.1 million hashtags on both TikTok and Instagram for property, restaurant and cafe-based content.

In particular, property in the city has inspired plenty of social media posts on TikTok, with 3.7 million hashtag views on the platform — which is a good sign of the demand for homes in Birmingham. 

TikTok content focused on food spots in Birmingham is also popular, with ‘#BirminghamRestaurant’ seeing 3.8 million hashtag views. People are generally drawn to thriving areas with a range of different amenities, so when it comes to choosing a city to invest in, landlords should keep an eye out for locations that are popular for their food, drink and culture spots. Not only will a flourishing location attract renters, but it may even add value to a property.  

Birmingham isn’t only popular on social media —landlords also stand to make a good return on investment with a buy-to-let property in the city. Its 5.30% yields are higher than any other location in the city, as well as the national average, which currently stands at 4.98%. 



With 7.3 million hashtags focused on property and food spots on Instagram and TikTok, plus a rental yield of 5.19%, Manchester comes in second place. 

The northern city has 24,172 posts on Instagram tagged with #ManchesterProperty — which is the highest of any city analysed.

Manchester is another city that has a whole host of amenities on offer for potential renters. In particular, restaurants (5.1 million hashtag views) and cafes (1.5 million hashtag views) in the city are popular on TikTok, with a lot of content focused on roundups of the best places to eat and drink, as well as recommendations from food bloggers and influencers. 



With a total of 123,087 posts on TikTok and Instagram and a high rental yield at 5.20%, Swansea comes in third place on our list.  

While its social media traction is significantly less than Manchester and Birmingham, the Welsh city is still popular for its food scene, with 22,900 restaurant hashtags on TikTok and 91,100 hashtags for cafes in the city — a factor that might be a big plus for prospective tenants. Cafe-based content includes recommendations for brunch and coffee spots, plus promotional posts from the many cafes in the city. 

Swansea is also one of the best locations in the UK for making your money back on a buy-to-let property the quickest. Our previous research used internal data to reveal where property buys itself back most quickly, and Swansea ranks fourth on the list. It takes just under 14 years on average for landlords to make their money back here. 



Nottingham has come in fourth place, with 1.1 million combined posts on social media, and 79,200 posts for #NottinghamProperty on TikTok. Much of this content is catered towards tenants.

Nottingham’s restaurants are also popular on TikTok, with 942,000 hashtags for posts recommending the top food spots in the city. Rental yield is just slightly lower than Swansea at 5.14%.



Rounding off the top five most popular cities is Coventry. The city is slightly less popular on social media than the likes of Manchester or Nottingham, with just 410,148 hashtags in total, but rental yield is significantly higher than the national average at 5.11%. 

In particular, Coventry is popular on TikTok for its restaurants, with 346,600 posts highlighting some of the best places to eat in the city — again, a good sign of some of the amenities on offer.  



Total property hashtags data

Total restaurant hashtags 

Total cafe hashtags 

Total analysed hashtags 

Gross rental yield







































































Locations with highest rental yield

  • Explore the map
  • Calculate expected yield based on your property value
  • Calculate the avg. monthly rent and compare results with any location on the map
best locations to invest on buy to let properties in the UK

Popular locations vs. low rental yield

Buying a property in a sought-after location can be appealing, but you need to feel confident that it’s a good investment. The popularity of a city is important when looking at where to invest in a buy-to-let, as you want to be able to attract potential tenants for years to come. However, rental yield is also a significant factor, as you need to make sure you’re able to make a profit on your purchase. 

Weighing up what’s most important to you as a landlord is key here. If a location is popular, you’re likely to have a constant stream of renters, however, this doesn’t always mean you’ll have the highest income. With this in mind, we’ve taken a look at some of the cities which are particularly popular on social media, but don’t have a strong rental yield. 



It will perhaps come as no surprise that London ranks as the most popular destination on social media, though of course, this is at least in part due to it being a world tourism hotspot. For this reason, it wasn’t included in the overall ranking, but it’s important to highlight when looking at popularity versus rental yield. 

London has around 273.8 million hashtags in total on TikTok and Instagram focused on its property, restaurants, and cafes. In fact, #LondonProperty alone has a huge 70.4 million posts on TikTok. Property-focused content includes house tours, rental property advertisements, and a close look at some of London’s most aesthetically appealing streets. 

While it might be popular on social media, the capital city has one of the lowest rental yields in the study, at 4.05%. That’s nearly 1% lower than the national average, so in this instance, popularity doesn’t necessarily mean a good return on investment. Demand might be high in the city, but landlords wishing to purchase a buy-to-let in London will need to decide whether they are willing to accept a lower rental yield in return. 



According to the study, the second most popular location on social media is Liverpool, with 20.9 million combined hashtags. But rental yield is slightly lower here than the national average, at 4.97%. 

Liverpool restaurants are especially popular, with 18 million hashtag views on TikTok, making it a very attractive spot for foodies. While rental yield might be a little lower here, East Merseyside actually ranks seventh on our list of top 10 locations where property buys itself back quickly. It takes around 14 and a half years for landlords to make their money back on a buy-to-let in the area. 



With a combined total of 19.2 million posts on social media, Bristol is the third most popular city on social media. The Bristol property market is particularly popular on Instagram, with 23,688 posts on the platform. #BristolRestaurants is also used a huge 18.9 million times on TikTok, reflecting some of the great amenities in the city. 

However, the southern city perhaps doesn’t offer the best return on investment, as it has a low rental yield of 4.13%. 

Top tips for selecting the right location for you

When investing in a buy-to-let property, it can be difficult knowing where to start looking. We’ve put together some top tips for helping you find the perfect location for you.

First things first, you need to look at demand in the location. As our research has shown, social media can be a great tool for understanding how attractive a location could be for potential tenants. 

You can also speak to local letting agents about how high demand is for rental properties, and it’s a good idea to look into how many other rental properties are currently on the market, as you don’t want to invest in a city that already has too much supply. 

Another key factor is to consider whether a location is experiencing growth. That might be cities that are seeing new infrastructure projects, such as new roads or transport systems, or neighbourhoods that might be undergoing redevelopment. Choosing an up-and-coming location can be a great way to make profits in the long-run, as you may eventually see high rental income compared with what you initially paid for the property. 

You need to make sure that the city you choose is going to attract tenants for years to come, so have a look at things like the local amenities, transport links, job opportunities, schools, and crime rates.

It’s also important to consider the potential return on investment of a property. Looking at rental yields is key to get an idea of what you can expect in terms of purchasing price and rental demand in a specific location. 

For those looking to compare locations, our handy rental yield calculator can help you find the best places in England and Wales to invest in a buy-to-let.

You also need to consider yourself when deciding where to purchase a buy-to-let property. Do you want it to be near your home so you can pop over to sort any problems easily? Do you already have other properties, and would it make sense to cluster these together? Will you be using a property management company?

Have a think about some of the practicalities involved. You might find that, in line with these, some locations will work better for you than others.

Locations with highest rental yield

  • Explore the map
  • Calculate expected yield based on your property value
  • Calculate the avg. monthly rent and compare results with any location on the map
best locations to invest on buy to let properties in the UK

Sources & Methodology

Molo pulled together a seedlist of the most populated cities in England and Wales. These were then ranked according to the following metrics:

  • The total number of TikTok and Instagram hashtags for the terms:
    • #[city]property
    • #[city]restaurants
    • #[city]cafes 
  • Gross rental yieldIn order to calculate the average gross yield of a location, Molo used internal data for monthly rental income. To calculate the average property price, it combined internal data on average property value and conveyancing fees, as well as stamp duty. Gross yield was then calculated by taking the annual rental income and dividing it by the sum of the average property price, plus the average conveyancing fee and stamp duty based on the property details provided.
  • We included the above metrics in an index, weighting gross rental yield higher than hashtag data.

To note: London was not included in the overall ranking due to hashtags being skewed because of the city being such a popular world tourism destination. 

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