A booming economy, a surging population and an excellent all-round quality of life. There are many reasons why investors are setting their sights on Manchester.
The UK’s second city is rapidly becoming one of the best places in the UK to be a property investor with high rates of capital growth, outstanding rental yields and a vibrant economy. Better still, with businesses shifting their focus towards the North West, the future looks bright.
What was once a small village, Manchester grew rapidly through the industrial revolution to become one of the biggest cities in the world. Its early wealth was based on the cotton industry and, whilst industry declined after the second world war, the city is experiencing a renaissance fuelled by the high-tech jobs of the future.
The rebirth began in the 80s. Old mills have been transformed into apartments. Factories have been redesigned to be replaced by flats. Property developments of all kinds are springing up, with everything from affordable homes to million-pound loft apartments emerging onto the market.
With businesses and individuals beginning to look beyond London, Manchester has benefited from a surge of interest with people moving into the area in their thousands. In fact, 80 FTSE 100 companies are based in Manchester.
In the most recent Census, Manchester’s population was recorded at 552,000, which has risen by almost 10% in the last decade. This is higher than the overall increase in England of 6.6%, and the city is expected to continue to grow.
People are drawn in by a vibrant city offering an outstanding quality of life. Manchester has been ranked the 13th best city in the world by Time Out; its position is higher than any other city in England, and beats star destinations like Paris and New York. It was also ranked as a Top Travel Destination for 2023 by Lonely Planet.
From the buzz and excitement of the city centre to the outstanding natural beauty of the Pennines and the Peak District National Park, it’s no wonder this is one of the most visited cities in the country.
Additionally, ongoing investment in redevelopment and infrastructure projects means that Manchester still has a tremendous amount of scope for increased price growth.
Sports fans are spoilt for choice. If you’re into football, you have not one but two of the biggest football clubs in the world in the form of Manchester United and City. Cricket fans, meanwhile, are drawn to the prospect of test matches and country cricket at Old Trafford.
This is, then, one of the most exciting and vibrant places to live and work the UK has to offer. Whether you’re interested in the city’s varied nightlife, renowned music scene, architectural history or the great outdoors, Manchester has something for everyone. Best of all, the future looks even better.
The last few years have seen businesses and people moving into Manchester at a dramatic rate. With rental yields being amongst the highest in the UK, the city is fast becoming a magnet for property investors of all kinds.
Our experts say
“Manchester is probably one the UK’s top investment spots and, with a diverse range of properties, it really offers those wishing to buy an abundance of choice – from prime city apartments to incredibly affordable units within easy reach of the centre.
Investors who have seen yields reach their limit in central London are shifting their gaze north. Here they find a place where yields are sky high, demand is outstripping supply, but prices remain relatively affordable.”
Harry Stratford, Property Consultant
How to get there
Manchester is well connected to the rest of the UK via excellent motorway links. The M60 ring road connects the city to motorways north, south, east and west. Average drive time to London is just over 3 hours.
Greater Manchester has 97 railways stations that offer over 70 direct connections to major cities and towns across the UK. The average journey time from Manchester to London is currently just 2hrs 24 min, and with planned extensions to HS2, this could drop to only one hour and seven minutes.
Manchester Airport is a major international airport, located around eight miles south of Manchester city centre. The UK’s third busiest airport, it connects Manchester to a wide range of major cities around the world.
The closest ferry crossings from Manchester run from Liverpool and connect England with Ireland and the Isle of Man.
The climate of Manchester is oceanic, with moderately cold winters and mild summers, and with frequent rainfall throughout the year. On average, Manchester enjoys 1,415 hours of sunshine per year.
Summer daytime temperatures regularly top 20 Celsius, quite often reaching 25 Celsius on sunny days (during July and August in particular). In more recent years, temperatures have occasionally reached over 30 Celsius. There is regular but generally light precipitation throughout the year.
Winter, from December to February, is quite cold: temperatures are not so low, but wind and humidity can increase the sensation of the cold. The sky is often cloudy, and rainfall is frequent. Sometimes, intense Atlantic depressions can cause strong winds.
Manchester offers all the essential ingredients you’d need for an investment hotspot: a vibrant economy, growing population, modern transport infrastructure and excellent rental yields.
The last ten years have seen Manchester’s population surge, but most experts believe this is only the beginning. Between now and 2034, experts predict the city’s population to grow by ten per cent with thousands of jobs being created every year.
The city’s world-class university is part of the elite Russell Group of institutions and attracts 100,000 students from around the world. They come partly for the university’s global reputation but also for the city itself. Small wonder, then, that thousands of them decide to make the city their own after graduation.
Growth puts enormous pressure on infrastructure, and local authorities and housebuilders are struggling to keep up with Manchester’s growing population. Demand is outstripping supply, and good property is at a premium which is pushing prices up. In October 2022, Manchester’s house prices grew 13.6% year-over-year. Savills has been predicted that average property prices in the Northwest region will grow 11.8% over the next five years – the highest level of growth of any UK region.
While Manchester’s industrial prime was fuelled by cotton, today it boasts a diverse and exciting economy perfectly suited to the demands of the digital age.
The decision by the BBC to move its primary operations here has brought a host of other public sector organisations into the region. The MediaCity Initiative, meanwhile, is helping to establish a vibrant digital and media start-up environment. Based on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal in Salford, it’s a hub of sustainable economic development.
Manchester’s future is being helped with the creation of a new and modern transport system. While many locations around the world are being choked under the weight of traffic congestion, the city is set to benefit from a host of new travel projects. For instance, there are significant upgrades to the road network coming up as well as a £1billion investment into Manchester Airport.
The demand is very much there and although prices are rising they remain much more affordable than London. There are a host of gains to be had, especially in the rental market. The university, coupled with a thriving business scene, help to bring in a young, diverse population of up-and-coming professionals in search of accommodation.
October 2022 saw the lowest number of available rental properties on record. Low supply, coupled with a growing rental population in the city, is sending asking average rents soaring.
It’s a city offering rich rewards both in the near term and further down the road. With a diverse, young and vibrant population fuelling a booming economy, Manchester deserves its reputation as a stellar property hotspot.