With its global reputation and extensive railway regenerations, Manchester is the North’s property investment hotspot
As the vanguard of the Industrial Revolution, Manchester’s reputation around the globe is well-established. The UK’s second city is home to a substantial number of companies across a wide spectrum of industries, unrivalled save for London.
But unlike the over-supplied, unaffordable and collapsing capital, Manchester has a thriving housing market, driven by more reasonable living costs and an expansive economy and population.
Manchester has long been a city forging connections, at both a local and global level. By enhancing its already strong transport infrastructure, it is cementing its legacy as a city of international significance.
Here are just 5 reasons to invest in the crown jewel of the Northern Powerhouse:
1 – Beating Brexit
Following the referendum results in June 2016, house price and rental growth has begun to ease as the uncertainty surrounding the UK’s departure lead to an atmosphere of caution among investors around the world. But whilst cities like London continue to struggle, Manchester’s woes were short-lived.
Since 2016, Manchester has consistently been one of the top 5 cities for annual house price growth, with the latest report showing that prices in the city are 7.0% higher year-on-year compared to a UK average of 4.6%.
Landlords in the city are also benefiting from the strong demand for property in Manchester, with high average yields/rental returns and rental price growth of 5.55% and 5.76% respectively.
From tenants to aspiring homeowners, Manchester’s more inherently affordable prices and living costs are attractive, as renters in the North West spend less than half (44%) of their average disposable incomes on rent.
Developers are also flocking to the city, with the number of new home registrations rising 20.5% between Q1 2017-18 compared to an overall decline in England of 2.9%.
The build-to-rent sector, which has been gaining popularity with tenants in the UK, has likewise gained traction particularly in the North West, with 29,600 developments completed, under construction or planned in the region; 25% of all new build-to-rent homes in the UK.
With Manchester becoming an even greater target for property developers, those considering investing in UK buy to let homes could find ample opportunities to capitalise on one of the UK’s most populated regions.
2 – Meeting Demand
Towards the end of 2015 Manchester 2025 was released, a report which set out the city’s vision for the next decade. One of the key findings was that the population of Greater Manchester, the metropolitan county that includes the city, will grow over those ten years by 125,000 to reach 2.87 million.
To meet the substantial demand for housing this increase would bring, separate research suggests the city needs to build around 11,254 new homes each year. Of this, 3,120 – just over a quarter – is needed in Manchester local authority, but there were just 1,792 new homes built between 2016-17.
Whilst the city is still in desperate need of new housing stock, some towns have already started to benefit from Manchester’s population boom. These include Salford, where house price growth has over the last seven years outpaced the city’s, whilst districts like Moston are perfectly located to accommodate the city’s growing demand.
Reacting to this rising population, a significant level of investment has been poured into transforming Manchester’s city centre to provide a range of commercial and residential spaces. St John’s, in the heart of the city, aims to create new green spaces, hotels, and small restaurants and shops in the city’s winding streets.
Another development in Spinningfields, one of Europe’s most successful urban regeneration projects, has created an entirely new quarter in Manchester that is home to hundreds of financial and commercial services from the UK and across the globe.
3 – An Innovative Technology Hub
There is perhaps no city that greater encapsulates the spirit of industry. From pre-revolution cotton trading to the dawn of the digital revolution, Manchester has stood at the forefront of innovation and technology.
Its list of industries is extensive, with world-leading brands and major organisations choosing Manchester as the basis for their business. Nowhere is this more evident than Manchester’s technology hub, MediaCityUK, which boasts an impressive list of residents.
This includes the likes of the BBC, ITV, Kellogg’s and Ericsson, as well as over 250 media and digital small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs). Thousands of people are employed at MediaCityUK, with over 3,200 alone at the BBC.
International companies are also setting their sights on Manchester. American Express, the financial services firm, is planning to expand its presence in the UK a new office hub in the city centre which will deliver products catered towards SMEs.
Manchester is also host to a thriving automotive industry, with plans for a new m motor retail centre to be built in Trafford City that will sell major car brands including BMW, Land Rover and Jaguar.
Not just content with being renowned for its digital and media services, the city is building on its strong green technologies and services industry, which has grown at a rate of 24% in the last four year and employs around 38,000 people across a variety of low carbon sectors.
With its vibrant economy and thriving skilled workforce, Manchester acts as an economic hub that attracts the brightest young professionals to one of the North’s best-connected cities.
4 – Global Connections
The North of England has long been a region where exceptional transport links are key to generating wealth, and Manchester is at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse initiative’s focus on bringing cities, people, and businesses together, in the UK and abroad.
By 2022, the Great North Rail Project is due to be delivered, a multi-billion pound programme of rail enhancements. The project is expected to enable an additional 2,000 services, which will allow 40,000 more passengers and commuters to travel in the region every day.
Upgrades to the 25-mile line between Manchester and Preston via Bolton will improve the reliability of services and provide more environmentally-friendly trains.
An enhanced TransPennine Express timetable was launched earlier in 2018 to reduce journey times between Manchester and Liverpool from 52 minutes to just 35 minutes. Two new fast services will also run every hour between Newcastle and Manchester via York, Leeds, and Huddersfield.
Manchester also has a substantial volume of air passengers passing through Manchester Airport, the UK’s third busiest, which grew by 4% to nearly 2 million in March. New routes from budget airline Jet2 will be expected to result in a 12% increase in capacity across 46 destinations, to a total of more than 2.8 million seats in summer 2019.
By forging links across the UK and beyond, and benefiting from projects like HS2, Manchester is cementing its legacy as a truly global city, and in doing so it can showcase its unrivalled cultural prowess to the rest of the world.
5 – International Acclaim
Attracting more than one million visitors each year, the 21,000-capacity Manchester Arena is a testament to the city’s cultural significance in the UK. It is the second largest indoor arena by capacity in Europe, even surpassing the infamous O2 Arena in London, and a former winner of the prestigious International Venue of the Year award.
An impressive list on globally-renowned entertainment acts have performed live at the Arena including U2, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, and Lady Gaga. The city itself is the birthplace of many internationally recognised bands such as Oasis, Take That and the Bee Gees.
The venue has also hosted some of the world’s biggest sporting events, such as the 2002 Commonwealth Games, Olympic basketball warm-up matches, and several international boxing bouts including Mike Tyson, David Haye and Ricky Hatton.
Manchester also has one of the UK’s biggest football stadiums with Old Trafford, second only to the Wembley Stadium in London. It has been the home of the world-famous Manchester United Football Club since 1910 and has a total capacity of 74,994.
The stadium has hosted many football fixtures including FA cup semi-finals, 1966 World Cup matches, and 2012 Summer Olympics matches. Other notable venues in the city include the 55,000-capacity Etihad Stadium, the National Squash Centre, and the Manchester Aquatics Centre.
Manchester’s tourism industry is vital to the success of the city, its economic value to the wider country. The region attracts around 119 million visitors every year, whilst the tourism sector provides around 94,000 jobs, placing additional pressure on an already highly sought-after housing market.