15 Jul, 2021

The tall towers keep rising – is Manchester oversupplied?

Oxygen tall tower 2

Is Manchester oversupplied?

When a city grows as fast as Manchester there always comes a point when questions about oversupply begin to be raised. The latest Deloitte Crane Survey highlights the speed of construction in Manchester, noting that last year saw 5,000 residential units complete in the city, with another 12,000 currently under construction.

This is particularly the case in the luxury market, because when it comes to tall towers, Manchester is seeing a once-in-a-lifetime boom and has a stronger pipeline than almost any other city in the world. Even with the impressive population growth Manchester has seen in recent years, it is fair to wonder whether the Manchester investment property market has reached its peak and the city may now be oversupplied.

However, the simple answer is that Manchester’s growth shows all the hallmarks of being entirely sustainable and continuing far into the future. The level of public and private investment into the city shows no signs of slowing and will continue to attract people from around the country and convince highly-trained young professional graduates that their future lies in Manchester.

The City Council’s last population estimates – from its State of the City Report – predicted an additional 5,000 people would move into the city centre each year until at least 2025 looking for high quality jobs and the enviable lifestyle on offer.

A major factor in the city’s attractiveness to businesses and people is the improving connectivity and transport links. The Metrolink tram service now covers more of the city than ever before and reaches out into popular surrounding areas including Altrincham and the Trafford Centre. Furthermore, even more expansion is coming in the future with additional lines to towns including Stockport and Wigan having been proposed.

Nationally, Manchester is well served by its various train stations – including Piccadilly and Victoria – which offer easy access to the rest of the county. Major cities including London, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds, Sheffield and Liverpool are within easy reach for Mancunians. The upcoming HS2 high speed rail line will arrive into Manchester Piccadilly and reduce journey times even further:

  • Birmingham Interchange, HS2 time 37 minutes (current time 1 hr 46 mins)
  • Birmingham, HS2 time 40 minutes (current time 1 hr 28 mins)
  • London, HS2 time 1 hr 7 mins (current time 2 hrs 7 mins)

This growing rail network is supplemented by the national motorway network and the location of Manchester International Airport just half an hour by road or rail from the city centre. From here, more than 200 destinations around the world are accessible already, and £1bn is being invested into the Airport by 2024 to improve this further still. Already the third-busiest airport in the country, this expansion will ensure that Manchester remains an international hub for many years to come.

This outstanding transport infrastructure has played a major part in increasing the prosperity of Manchester and attracting major, global businesses that will continue to draw more people in. For example, giant companies including Amazon, Google, Microsoft and the BBC all have major headquarters in the city. On top of that, homegrown local businesses such as the Hut Group have grown from their Manchester base to become $1bn+ “unicorns” which further put the city on the map.

Douglas Gurr, UK Country Manager at Amazon, said of Manchester: “Manchester offers an incredible talent pool, a thriving hub of fast-growing UK tech start-ups and is a centre of academic and intellectual excellence. We are already actively hiring from all a range of skillsets for our new Manchester office, so if you’ve always wanted to build the future, come build it with us.”

Most importantly, companies like Amazon and the BBC are actively moving jobs to Manchester from London – a situation that would have been hard to imagine even a decade ago. The skilled, university-trained workforce and a business-friendly environment have combined to make Manchester Europe’s fastest-growing technology and communications hub.

With the City Council actively supporting developments including Manchester Technology Park and ID Manchester, organisations like the Manchester Science Partnership (MSP) can flourish and bring even more leading-edge companies and job to the city in the future – attracting even more people every year.

Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, commented on the importance of the MSP and how it benefits the city: "Building on our existing strengths of digital innovation, MSP’s Tech Incubator has a crucial role to play in the growth of Manchester’s tech industry which is already home to the largest tech cluster in the country outside London and one of the top five in Europe.

“Tech is a hugely important growth industry in Manchester - a city which lives and breathes innovation - and with more and more start-ups and tech workers choosing to operate in the city, this is a clear endorsement of the city’s vibrant tech scene.”

The ongoing economic boom illustrates the scale of Manchester’s success. The city centre economy alone is already worth more than £6bn annually and employs more than 150,000 people – 10% of all employment in Greater Manchester. Annual economic growth of 4.3% a year puts Manchester far ahead of the UK average (3.6%) and gives the city a solid platform to continue growing even through events such as the Covid-19 pandemic.

This strength means that the demand for homes in Manchester – particularly in the luxury city centre market – will only continue to grow. More and more people are moving to the city every year, and the vast majority of those are the highly-skilled young professionals who wish to live right in the heart of the city to take advantage of the outstanding lifestyle and high quality jobs on offer.

While it is true that Manchester is seeing more towers and homes built than ever before, the city’s dynamism and desirability means that the market is far from being oversupplied – in reality, the opposite is the case and Manchester investment will continue to be a fantastic long-term option for any portfolio.

To find out more about why you should invest in Manchester, contact our team today.

Want to know more? Get in touch with our property experts today

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+852 9244 2880