The self-proclaimed capital of the North, Manchester has given its southern rival plenty of stiff competition when it comes to being an exciting place to live, work and study. Whilst it’s no tropical paradise – Manchester was recently voted the 8th rainiest city in the UK – the weather certainly doesn’t dampen the spirits of its inhabitants. In recent years, even in light of traumatic events, the city and its people (whether native or adopted) have proved to be a strong community that everyone wants to be a part of. With interest from both end-users and investors alike keeping residential demand high, Manchester has become a hotspot in which to invest in property.
As a leading development company with several completed and ongoing projects throughout Manchester, Cheshire and the surrounding areas, we make no secret of how much we love this vibrant city. But the question is, does Manchester stack up as an area for property investment? Here we take a closer look at some of the cultural and political factors influencing the Manchester property market and why investing here, whether for business or pleasure, is the right step for you.
A Brexit-proof Investment for Now and the Future
Whether you voted to leave the EU or to remain, the uncertainty that surrounds our country’s position post-Brexit is causing jitters across many markets, not to mention the property sector. Whilst no one can say for sure what impact Brexit will have on house prices in the UK, committing to buy now could mean a better investment for the future.
House prices may have stagnated since the EU referendum in June 2016 but as a nation of renters, property to rent is still in high demand. Current rental demand is outweighing new build supply, which means properties tenant for the long term whatever Brexit may bring.
As Savills highlighted it is affordability, not our departure from the EU, that could have the biggest impact on the UK housing market. A stance that saw them predict a house price rise of 14.8% from 2019 to 2023 as the UK population continues to grow and rental demand deepens. The increasing demand will also see rents surge by 13.7% in the next five years, meaning increasing rental yield for those investing in the right areas now.
It’s not just property investors who should consider entering the UK property market before our departure from the EU. People buying to make Manchester their home could find further advantages to moving onto or up the property ladder now, particularly if they are looking to live in the city for the long term. By ‘battening down the hatches’ and moving now to stay put for at least five years, buyers can ride out any negative effects that result from Brexit and emerge at the other end with a profitable piece of real estate.
Whether investing to live in Manchester yourself or to diversify your property portfolio, profiting in the short term could also be possible. The city was deemed a new property hotspot with Manchester house prices predicted to rise by up to 30% in the next four years, despite prices in London, Oxford and Cambridge softening.
A Thriving National and International Business Hub
Forgetting London, Manchester is the most well-connected city in the UK. This is why so many businesses, including national institution the BBC, have moved into the city. Business is booming in Manchester as a result, with Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures showing that 23,845 businesses now call the city their home. That’s a 58% rise in just five years. Manchester now outperforms London thanks to the activity and innovation of its entrepreneurs. The city currently creates more new businesses than the capital with 79 new ventures per 10,000 population compared to London’s 64.
Manchester’s affordable commercial rents will help, so too will the development of HS2 High Speed Rail. HS2 is firmly in the business world’s sights despite phase 2b – that connects Manchester, the West Midlands and Leeds to the high speed network – not being due for completion until late 2033. Its eventual completion offers a variety of plus-points for those living and working in the area, with the travel time from Manchester to London being just one hour.
The construction of HS2 will see £56 billion spent to deliver its promise of high speed trains that can travel up to 400km per hour on 530km of track. It will generate 22,000 construction jobs along its route, and an estimated 100,000 jobs once completed, meaning a win-win for goods and service based businesses wishing to grow their profits, and for property investors looking to secure tenants.
Manchester is also well-connected to the rest of the world with its airport the third largest in the UK. From Manchester Airport, travellers can reach over 210 destinations worldwide. The airport handles more than 27 million passengers annually, making it the ultimate commuter city for those wishing to take their business around the world.
The city’s national and international links contribute heavily to Manchester’s position as the driving force of North England’s economic powerhouse. As well as being the fastest growing major city outside of London, it’s one of the fastest growing in Europe. More people than ever are moving to Manchester to enjoy its thriving business scene, vibrant culture, innovative digital outlook and boundless creativity.
A Vibrant Place to Spend Your Days (and nights)
Manchester has never been a boring city. It’s a favourite for days and nights out, with people travelling from all over the country and the world to experience its northern charm first-hand. Its food and drink scene is now the best in the country, with openings of restaurants in Manchester up by 57% compared to 10 years ago. More eateries choose to open in Manchester than in the capital, with the commercial and creative vibrancy of the city making it the first choice for niche food brands, big names, and a legion of hungry and enthusiastic diners. Whether a diner wants a bargain bite or would like to splash the cash, Manchester’s foodie scene offers something whatever your budget, the occasion or your preferred cuisine.
If music is your passion, the city delivers on that front too. It’s known for spawning many musical legend (Oasis, Joy Division and The Smiths all hail from Manchester and are proud of it!) and has a gig circuit that is just as cutting edge as it was when they first took to the stage. Chart toppers and up-and-coming acts all regularly gig at Manchester’s plethora of venues, with Manchester Arena playing host to superstars from across the globe.
People with all music tastes will be entertained here. Sample the hipster delights of the Northern Quarter, go mainstream at the Printworks or rave the night away at one of the city’s many clubbing institutions – Sankeys and The Warehouse Project both take residence here.
By day, the quest for more civilised culture can continue. Manchester is home to a number of museums and galleries, which represent the history of the area and the cutting edge talent of its inhabitants. The Whitworth Art Gallery is a particular highlight for residents of Manchester and visitors. The Whitworth, which is the sister venue of Manchester Art Gallery, was once named Museum of the Year. As well as hosting a variety of exhibitions, the gallery was recognised for using art for social change this year. Those with a fascination with the old and new will want to visit the city’s Imperial War Museum North, the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester Museum and the People’s History Museum.
Arts and theatre thrive in Manchester, with the recent opening of its £25 million HOME arts centre and the soon to be arts space at the Old Granada Studios consolidating its status on the world stage.
A property investment in Manchester means you or your tenants can access a higher quality of life. With a city centre based pad, residents have all this and so much more on their doorsteps, with continued development throughout the city promising further things to do and to see.
A City Bursting with Opportunity for All
In these uncertain economic times better security is what many are looking for to prepare themselves for life outside the European Union. People are even relocating to enjoy better opportunities in more buoyant jobs markets. Manchester is a strong candidate for people looking to cement their status or expand their horizons in pastures new. A purposeful innovator and talent hotspot, Manchester has attracted many big name organisations to its city, with copious firms including the Guardian and Channel 4 moving (or at least preparing to move) their headquarters out of London and into Manchester or surrounding northern cities.
Manchester may have honed its craft as an industrial city, but it’s perfecting its art in other sectors in the modern day, including the financial, services and creative industries. As a result, the city has a strong jobs market in the private sector, while productivity boosts in the biotech, energy and environment industries sees Manchester’s economy grow from strength to strength. Its charity sector is also thriving, with numerous well-known, not-for-profit organisations (such as Caritas, The Vegetarian Society, Barnabus, RSPCA and Costello) headquartered here and offering voluntary positions to the right people.
As we mentioned previously new businesses are making Manchester their home too, meaning there’s plenty of opportunity for professionals looking to step up in their chosen sector. Totaljobs reported a 39% increase in jobs advertised by Manchester businesses in the last two years, with companies of all sizes and niches continuously on the lookout for new talent.
These businesses may not have to look too far to find top talent to drive their companies in the right direction. Several exceptional colleges and universities are based in Manchester, and each produces high calibre students who can walk into the area’s best graduate positions. The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) and The Manchester College are just some of the acclaimed educational institutions responsible for the city’s influx of top talent. The University of Manchester is currently ranked third best in the UK and has a worldwide reputation for delivering excellence across a plethora of programmes.
With this in mind, Manchester is one of the best areas for student employability. Students generally gain employment a short time after graduation and stay in the city to live, work and gain further experience in their chosen profession. Young skilled professionals from all over the country are snubbing London to further their careers, a surge that has given the city the nickname ‘Millennial Manchester’. These young workers want more freedom, flexibility, and ultimately a better work/life balance than previous generations, which means they are willing to spend more laying down roots in city centre locations.
A Final Word…
These are just a few of the reasons why Manchester makes an excellent area for property investment. It’s no doubt a city that’s on the up in every possible way. People looking to purchase a property in Manchester and relocate for a better work/life balance will find the job prospects they need to achieve just that. Investors wishing to diversify their property portfolios will find an acute supply of high quality residential stock that’s attractive to tenants and provides excellent rental yield.
An investment in Manchester is an investment in so much more. With financial security, improved business development, and not to mention the best quality of life all coming as standard.
Investing wisely in this property hotspot is all about finding the right property in the right location. Our latest project, The Lyceum, takes us to the heart of Manchester to revive a historic and iconic, Grade II listed building and reinvent luxury living in the city centre.
Sales are now live on our Manchester development, The Lyceum, with one-bedroom apartments starting at just £120,000 and two-bedroom apartments priced from £145,000. As a perfect investment property, investors will achieve an assured 7% rental yield and can expect 20% completion appreciation with full ROI forecasted within five years.
Please contact Adam Ross, Sales & Development Director at Goodwin Property Holdings, for further information on 0161 7111 095. You can also view The Lyceum development online.