Manchester’s economic miracle – Igniting new build property investment

Growth, growth, and growth – compelling reasons to invest in Manchester property

Manchester’s economy is booming, and leading to an explosion in new build property opportunities for savvy investors. It’s the fastest-growing local economy in the UK. Its size has doubled in 20 years and is expected to grow by more than £600 million to an estimated £58.9 billion in 2017. Its population is growing faster than the rest of the UK, too. In this article, you’ll learn more about why Manchester’s economy makes for compelling reasons to invest in new build property in Manchester.

Diversity of business and workforce in an expanding economy

The Greater Manchester region is the UK’s second largest after London. Its economy has a gross value added (GVA) of more than £58 billion. That’s 3.5% of the total UK economy. With growth averaging almost 3% per year over the last decade, Manchester has been a powerhouse of job creation.

The region includes ten local authorities:

  • Bolton
  • Bury
  • Manchester
  • Oldham
  • Rochdale
  • Salford
  • Stockport
  • Tameside
  • Trafford
  • Wigan

At the heart of the region are Manchester city centre, Salford and Trafford. It is the engine room of the region’s economy. Here you’ll find a high concentration of financial and professional services, knowledge-based industries, new media, and retail. Industries growing today, and which will sustain growth tomorrow. There are around 160,000 people employed here.

A diverse and rapidly-expanding economy

Manchester’s economy is diverse, and well protected against a downturn. The financial and professional services sector has been the driver of recent growth. It now accounts for 16% of all local employment, and 20% of the region’s GVA. Almost half of regional economic growth between 1998 and 2008 was driven by this sector.

The following table (compiled from data from the ONS Annual Business Enquiry 2010) is evidence of the diversity of Manchester’s economy:

Financial & Professional Services 16.6%
Manufacturing & Engineering 16.1%
Health 13.0%
Retail 10.3%
Education 8.5%
Creative & Digital 7.7%


Between 1997 and 2014, Manchester’s GVA per head grew at a faster rate than almost all other major city regions, with economic productivity growing faster than London, Leeds, Liverpool and Tyneside.


GVA per head growth 1997 to 2014 (data from CRESC)
1997 2014 Growth
Birmingham 12,816 21,093 60.76%
Bristol 17,862 30,007 59.53%
Sheffield 11,122 19,958 55.73%
Cardiff 12,102 22,107 54.74%
Manchester 16,820 30,963 54.32%
Leeds 14,184 26,341 53.85%
Glasgow 16,628 32,208 51.63%
Edinburgh 18,281 35,776 51.10%
Liverpool 11,286 22,092 51.09%
Tyneside 10,458 20,693 50.54%
London 21,293 42,666 49.91%


Government sponsored, tailored city deals will assist future growth in each of the 10 authorities in the region:

  • Manchester is forecast to grow its economy by around 70% by 2034
  • More than 150,000 jobs should be created in this period
  • 70% of new jobs will be created in the productive commercial and professional services sectors

Taken as a total package, these three economic growth factors will drive demand for housing in both the owned and rental sectors. However, the type of jobs being created may have the most positive impact. These jobs command higher salaries. These rising salaries will increase affordability, and help to drive property values and rental prices higher.

With a workforce of more than 7 million within an hour’s commute, businesses expanding or relocating here benefit from a huge pool of highly qualified and talented potential employees. It’s a virtuous circle of business investment feeding off local talent, then growing and encouraging more talent to move to the area. They will all need homes – the new build property sector in Manchester could be on the cusp of a major boom.

Manchester’s economy – the cornerstone of investment potential

Manchester’s economy is the cornerstone that should excite property investors. The city and its surrounds are much in demand, from businesses and a rapidly-growing population. But property investment cannot hang on a single thread. In Manchester, all the property fundamentals appear to be in perfect alignment for investors to realise the potential of new build property:

  • Manchester is a mecca for retail therapy. It has some of the best and most famous shopping centres in the UK, and a plethora of boutiques and independent stores.
  • For families, Manchester’s educational options are comprehensive. Children from the age of two through to 18 and older are completely catered for, with some of the best educational facilities in the country and a university network that has produced 25 Nobel Prize winners.
  • Manchester’s entertainment scene is unrivalled outside of London. Manchester Arena is Europe’s largest indoor concert venue. The city boasts more than a dozen cinemas and tens of museums and art galleries. It is also within easy reach of some of the UK’s most outstanding areas of natural beauty, including the Lake District, Peak District, and Yorkshire Dales. Sports facilities are limitless.
  • The city is one of the best connected in Europe, with extensive road, rail, and bus networks as well as an extensive canal network. Manchester Airport, which was ranked the UK’s best airport at the 2015 Globe Travel Awards, is just minutes from the city centre.
  • Manchester is benefitting from its status as being the first UK city to take advantage of the devolution of power and financing from the central government. The Greater Manchester City Deal makes billions available for investment here, supporting urban regeneration and the creation of enterprise zones and thousands of jobs.

Manchester’s economic miracle makes it one of the best places to invest in property UK. To discover more about the amazing new build property investment opportunities in Manchester, contact one of the Gladfish team today +44 (0)207 923 6100.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood

Brett Alegre-Wood
October 19, 2017

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