Economic and population growth is boosting returns in Manchester

Brett Alegre-Wood
November 24, 2018

Manchester is a dynamic city with bags of investment potential

Our clients already knew what Manchester City Council recently confirmed: Manchester is one of Europe’s fastest-growing city economies. As we’ve been saying for a couple of years now, the city’s economic growth is the power behind the strong growth in jobs and increase in population – and this is fuelling demand for homes in and around the city. Great news for property investors and our prediction is that Manchester is likely to stay a property hotspot for some time to come.

A rapidly growing (and young) population

The ‘State of the city report 2018’ provides some very valuable insight. For example, the city’s reputation as one of the country’s premier university cities has solidified its reputation as a place where businesses have access to a large pool of highly qualified and skilled workers.

Almost 40% of Manchester’s population are graduates. The City Council has been quick to capitalise on this and has invested in the infrastructure to help grow its digital, cultural and creative sectors. Indeed, Manchester is now a major tech hub in the UK (as we discussed in our article “Manchester: where the digital revolution boosts productive property investment”).

The youthfulness and quality of the workforce here has helped to boost the number of businesses in Manchester to grow by 18% since 2016 – three times the national average. This rate of business growth and the associated growth in jobs is a major factor behind the 6% increase in the city’s population in just three years – to 572,000.

A popular city with millennials

It isn’t only the economy that is encouraging millennials to move to Manchester. Youngsters want a fun environment in which to live and work, and Manchester certainly provides this. There are thousands of fabulous bars, bistros and restaurants, and a vibrant nightlife that includes some of the country’s best-known nightclubs. It’s a very diversified and inclusive city and is home to one of the world’s largest gay districts. Additionally, with countless museums, galleries and attractions there is always something going on or to be done. Oh, and don’t forget the shopping at the Arndale and Trafford centres.

Little wonder, then, that almost four out of 10 Mancunian students who study in other parts of the country decide to return home after graduating. And get this: seven out of 10 students from elsewhere who graduate in Manchester decide to stay put in the city.

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The future looks bright for Manchester

Manchester is a vibrant lifestyle city, with a thriving economy that is growing fastest in the knowledge sectors of the future. It’s an attractive place to live and has benefitted (and still benefitting) from massive regeneration investment.

The thinktank, Centre for Cities, cites urban renaissance in Manchester as a decisive contributory factor in the economic prosperity of the city. It has seen the fastest rate of city centre growth of any city in England and Wales between 2002 and 2015, and its economy is expected to grow by as much as 5% per year for several years to come. That’s way above the UK as a whole and, should these expectations be met, is bound to push the demand for new homes in Manchester even higher.

What does this mean for investors who buy property in Manchester?

Property investors who have bought in Manchester in the last five years have already done well. Since 2013, average prices here have increased faster than anywhere else in the UK in five out of six years. Population growth in the city is booming, and with a strong and future-proofed local economy, Manchester’s city centre is a highly desirable destination for people who want to live in Manchester – especially the exploding population of young professionals.

Personally, I cannot see a reason not to invest in Manchester. For more information about this dynamic growth city, and to read about all the property fundamentals and how they stack up for growth and income potential here, download your free copy of our Manchester Property Investment Guide.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood


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