If one of your New Year resolutions was to start or expand your property portfolio, make 2020 the year to invest in the north. With the New Year feeling ever further away, there is no better time to decide on a northern UK city to invest in. To help you choose, we’ve pulled together five reasons to invest in each of our picks for top northern cities for 2020, in our second article, it’s the heart of the Northern Powerhouse: Manchester.
1. Manchester is a magnet for young professionals and families
As of 2019, there were 546,000 people living in Manchester. With the large numbers of people flocking to the city this will only grow further. Young professionals and families make up a good proportion of the people moving to Manchester from other parts of the UK, attracted by the city’s high quality of life.
Manchester has even seen the highest job growth in the country, rising by 84% between 1998 and 2015.
With fantastic career prospects and brilliant entertainment and leisure facilities, Manchester is experiencing a ‘ripple effect’ of good quality housing demand from its city centre. This demand from new residents is pushing up property prices, making 2020 a great year to invest here.
2. The centre of the Northern Powerhouse initiative
Manchester is the economic and cultural heart of the Northern Powerhouse initiative. To date, the government has committed over £160 billion to the scheme. This money is destined for health and transport projects as well as skills and education development.
As part of the initiative, the government has also pledged an additional £5 million in development fund to Manchester itself, which will reassure the many investors in the city and further boost Manchester’s economy and property market.
The significance of the Northern Powerhouse region – and Manchester’s role within it – cannot be underestimated. The region provides over a quarter of the UK’s manufacturing outputs, a third of the country’s renewable energy, and nearly half of all medicinal exports.
3. Diverse, growing economy
Manchester’s mixed economy gives it a resilience that isn’t found in other major UK cities. While London relies on the financial services industry, Manchester’s economy has strong foundations in creative industries, media, and manufacturing. The wider region’s rural areas support more traditional industries, such as agriculture and fishing. This has helped Manchester’s economy become the fastest growing in the UK.
Manchester is quickly becoming the centre of the UK’s creative sector. Since the opening of MediaCityUK in 2012, media companies such as the BBC, ITV and Ericsson have flocked to the city. With over 250 creative and digital companies based at MediaCityUK, it is now the biggest purpose-built media location in Europe.
4. Manchester is well-connected locally and nationally
Major investment is underway in Manchester’s infrastructure. The Transport for Greater Manchester project will boost transport connections within the Manchester region, as well as with the wider North West and the rest of the UK.
Within Manchester there will be improvements to Manchester’s Metrolink system, as well as to other means of public transport. There is also a focus on connecting the city centre with other key areas of Manchester, including Salford and Trafford, through the redevelopment of Piccadilly station.
Beyond Manchester, there are plans to create more joined-up and sustainable travel routes across the country. The project will also investigate opportunities to better connect Manchester with the rest of the world via Manchester Airport and regional ports.
5. Manchester offers great value properties with excellent returns
Property in Manchester is still exceptional value for money, even considering the city’s major growth over the last few years. According to Hometrack, the average price of a Manchester property was just £173,400 in November 2019. Property prices are rising steadily though, meaning that time is running out for a bargain investment.
Between 2012 and 2017, property prices in Manchester grew by almost 32%. In the 12 months to 2019, this growth averaged at 4.7%, way above the UK average of 2.8%.
Rental yields in Manchester are also higher than the UK average. High demand is leading to fast-rising rents and steady yields of between 5% and 7% – even up to 12% for HMO properties.