Invest in Manchester for returns heading North
Manchester, once famous for flat caps and post-industrial decline, has in recent decades reinvented itself. Home to two of the greatest football teams on earth and a significant media and technology sector – Manchester has become Northern England’s answer to London, and property values in the city reflect this.
Residential property price growth in Manchester – driven by significant public and private investment, an ongoing lack of housing supply, a significant student population and the return of city centre living – has outperformed the UK average with annual average growth of 4.2%, compared with a UK average of 2.4%.
This growth is also reflected in rental yields which are expected to increase by 3.5% between now and 2020 according to property specialists JLL who have rated Manchester the No 1 prospect for residential price growth over the next five years.
And the trends show no sign of dissipating with businesses continuing to invest in the city (Amazon is just the latest major company to invest in Manchester city centre office space) and young professionals continuing to choosing to live in the city centre – in 2000 there were 10,000 people living in the heart of the city. Now there are nearly 70,000.
Bucking the trend?
So, why is Manchester experiencing double-digit growth – despite the B word, otherwise known as Brexit?
There are several trends shaping Manchester’s fortunes which, in many ways, are independent of Brexit. Despite negotiations between the UK and the EU continuing to be fractious, the economic mood music gives cause for optimism. Employment levels are up, the deficit is down and companies continue to invest.
This is especially the case in Manchester where a young and well-educated population, combined with the new mayor of Manchester’s overarching and well considered strategy of building a ‘northern powerhouse’, is creating the right environment for an economic boom. As such Manchester finds itself on the frontier of many new industries such as graphene and attracting significant business investment from numerous high-tech, high-skill industries. This is combined with the fact that London – the traditional destination for international investors looking for a slice of the UK property market – is truly saturated. As such we are seeing property prices in the capital decline, while cities across the rest of the UK continue to boom.
And while UK residents do seem to have been left uneasy by the ongoing Brexit negotiations – with just 3% of respondents to a recent survey from IP Global saying they plan to invest in the domestic residential property market over the next 12 months, down from 4% one year ago – the same cannot be said for overseas investors. In the same survey 19% of those surveyed from Hong Kong said they would consider UK property, alongside 20% from the United Arab Emirates and 45% from South Africa.
So, regardless of Brexit, a booming economy and a clear long-term trend towards growth in UK property investments are continuing to attract significant capital.