Manchester, a city with a rich history dating back to the Industrial Revolution, has witnessed a remarkable transformation in recent years, emerging as a prime property investment hub. With roots firmly planted in the textile industry that led the way in the 18th and 19th centuries, Manchester has reinvented itself through extensive regeneration, economic growth, world-class education, and improved infrastructure. This urban revival has attracted both businesses and people from diverse backgrounds, fuelling a surge in demand for rental accommodation and rendering property investment in the UK’s ‘Capital of the North’ exceptionally lucrative.
To understand Manchester’s journey to becoming a property investment hotspot, we must first delve into its history. The city’s cotton mills and textile factories played a pivotal role in the global economy, driving economic prosperity and technological advancements. Modern-day Manchester carries on the same legacy as it continues to evolve into one of the UK’s most thriving business and financial hubs.
The resurgence of Manchester as a property investment hub can be attributed to extensive regeneration projects that have breathed new life into the city. Several key schemes stand out in this transformation:
A major driving force behind Manchester’s growth as a property investment destination is its educational and employment opportunities. The city is home to some of the UK’s top-ranked universities, including the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University. These institutions attract students from around the world, contributing to the city’s diverse and lively culture.
Moreover, several multinational corporations, including Microsoft, Amazon and Unilever, have established regional operations in Manchester. The city’s business-friendly environment and talent pool have made it an attractive destination for these global players. The influx of professionals has increased the demand for rental accommodation, making property investment a lucrative prospect.
Significant improvements in infrastructure and transport have further bolstered Manchester’s appeal for property investment. The city boasts an extensive public transport network, including trams, buses and trains, making life easier for residents and commuters. The city’s two major train stations, Piccadilly and Victoria, provide efficient rail connections to all other major cities in the Country. Additionally, the Metrolink tram system, one of the largest in the UK, has expanded to cover key areas, facilitating convenient and fast intracity travel.
Manchester’s property market presents a compelling investment opportunity, especially for investors who wish to get on the flourishing UK property ladder at a much lower-entry price point compared to London. As of March 2023, the average house price in Manchester was significantly lower than the UK average. For instance, according to Zoopla data, a Manchester city centre property can be purchased for around £279,028, making it an affordable option for investors.
In comparison to London, property prices in Manchester are around 591% lower. This means that investors pay roughly six times less for a similar property in the UK Capital. This considerable price gap underscores the affordability and growth potential of Manchester’s property market. Moreover, Manchester is a top choice for international investors, as evidenced by a recent survey on Hongkongers investing in the UK. Manchester ranked as the second most popular city for investment after London, demonstrating its global appeal.
Recent developments in visa and immigration policies have sparked a trend of Hong Kongers relocating to the UK, with many career professionals favouring Greater Manchester for its affordability and quality of life. The UK’s welcoming immigration policy for BNO-status Hong Kongers, introduced in January 2021, has attracted over 172,500 applications, with 144,000 individuals already settling in the UK. Most newcomers are young, with 27 years being the mean age, and over 50% are drawn to Manchester’s excellent education and cost-effective living, surpassing London’s popularity by 20%.
Amid Manchester’s property investment renaissance, an exciting new development stands out as a symbol of the city’s evolution. Waterhouse Gardens, a stylish mixed-use development by Salboy, is ideally situated near central Manchester, connecting the popular Greengate and N.O.M.A neighbourhoods with the historic Medieval Quarter.
This development features 556 high-spec residential units spread across five attractive terracotta towers. The on-site amenities at the Waterhouse Club provide residents with a holistic lifestyle, while beautifully landscaped public spaces enhance the property’s growing appeal. Waterhouse Gardens also offers 30,000 sq. ft of commercial space that will house boutique traders, independent eateries, bars and office spaces, creating a vibrant and energetic community.
Strategically located within the Great Ducie Regeneration Zone, Waterhouse Gardens is a part of the 2.8 million sq. ft commercial development, making it a hotspot for businesses and investors alike. With Manchester College just a five-minute walk away and the University of Manchester a mere nine minutes distant, this development is at the heart of the city’s educational and professional landscape.
For investors, the future looks promising, as according to a recent research report by JLL, Manchester’s property market is forecasted to experience an impressive 19.3% growth in sales prices over the next five years, driven by the city’s prominent position as one of the fastest-growing economies in the UK.
Manchester’s transformation from an industrial powerhouse during the Industrial Revolution to a modern property investment hub reflects the city’s resilience and adaptability. With education, employment opportunities, improved infrastructure, and a booming property market, Manchester stands as a beacon of prosperity in the UK. As the city continues to grow and thrive, now is indeed the right time to invest in this dynamic and vibrant metropolis. Waterhouse Gardens is just one of the many promising opportunities that await those looking to be a part of Manchester’s exciting future.
To explore more about investing in Manchester and know about Waterhouse Gardens, join our exclusive property launch event in Hong Kong this October.
Date: 28-29 Oct (Sat & Sun)
Venue: 27/F, 8 Wyndham Street, Central
Seminar at 2pm
1. What does shortening the HS2 rail mean for the Manchester property market?
2. An update on the current UK mortgage market
*Disclaimer: Prices and details are correct at the time of going to press. Expected rental yield per annum, not guaranteed. Travel times are an approximation only, sourced from Google Maps, and may reference driving, public transport, cycling and/or walking times. Planning permission No.: 118831/FO/2018 granted by Manchester City Council. Lease Term: 999 years. Purchasers are acquiring an interest in the land, the building to be erected thereon and/ or a right to use and occupy the properties in the building. Computer-generated images for illustrative purposes only. Purchasing uncompleted properties situated outside Hong Kong is complicated and contains risk. You should review all relevant information and documents carefully before making a purchase decision. If in doubt, please seek independent professional advice before making a purchase decision. The non-licensed staff engage in estate agency work exclusively in relation to properties outside Hong Kong and they are not licensed to deal with any property situated in Hong Kong. Property reference number: BRHK-UK231005. Last update: 18th Oct 2023. Benham & Reeves (Hong Kong) Limited License No. C-092169.
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