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It was nearly a year ago when the term Northern Powerhouse entered the political and financial world. Today, we can see the plans for an economic transition are full steam ahead, with a booming future on the horizon for the North of England.
Manchester, "Britain’s buy-to-let hotspot" (HSBC, 2015).
Read about how the city has changed over the past 20 years and how it has become the largest economic city in the North of England, with a workforce of over one million people.
Let us help you discover this booming city...
Manchester is located in the North West of England, and boasts a city population of over 500,000 which expands to 2.7 million people in the surrounding urban area (ONS, June 2014).
The city first became a booming business hub during the 19th century Industrial Revolution.
Manchester quickly became the largest marketplace for cotton goods, and its population grew exponentially. It is during the Industrial Revolution years that the city saw the creation of its great transport infrastructure. The canal system was extended, and Manchester became the first city to have a passenger railway, which connected the city to Liverpool.
MUSIC: The Manchester musical scene is perhaps famous all over the world, with bands such as The Smiths, Joy Division, Happy Mondays and Oasis as flagships. Manchester has also got a thriving arts scene, and is home to many renowned venues and galleries, such as Manchester Opera House, the Palace Theatre, the Lowry Theatre, Manchester Art Gallery and Whitworth Gallery.
ARTS: The city's main museums, including The Manchester Museum, The Museum of Science and Industry and The Imperial War Museum see the number of visitors grow year on year. Since 2007 the city has hosted the Manchester International Festival, which was described as "the most radical and important arts festival today." by The New Yorker magazine in 2013. Today, Manchester dominates the headlines with its vanguard and upcoming galleries, venues and festivals. In May 2015 a new multi-arts centre opened, called HOME Manchester. This £25 million development includes a 500-seat theatre, studio spaces and five cinema screens, and will commission, produce and present a vast programme of contemporary theatre, film and visual arts projects.
FOOTBALL: In the cultural panorama of the city, a mention is needed for the city's two Premier League teams: Manchester United and Manchester City. Both are multi-million pound teams with a fan-base that covers a good part of the Western world, the teams respective 2013 revenues amounted to £320.3 million and £231.1m (manchestereveningnews.co.uk, June 2013).
"Manchester is a world-class city, which offers people a great place to live, work, visit and critically, a fantastic environment for business"
(MIDAS, Manchester's inward investment agency)
The Northen Powerhouse
Manchester is arguably the strongest economic city in the North of England. It combines the attraction and innovation of a young European city, with safe and forward-looking business opportunities.
In terms of economic analysis, the geographical area of the Manchester City Region covers the ten local authorities of Greater Manchester - Bury, Bolton, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan.
New figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that Greater Manchester experienced a growth of 4.6% (£2.5 billion) in 2013, the highest growth rate of all Local Enterprise Partnership in England - exceeding both London's GVA growth rate of 4.0% and 4.3% in Birmingham. In 2013, GVA in Greater Manchester was recorded as &£56.3 billion, rising from £39.5 billion in 2003, representing an increase of £16.8 billion (42.5%) over that decade.
The Business Register predicts that GVA in Greater Manchester is forecast to rise by 2.5% per year, rising to more than £58 billion by the end of 2022.
The driving factor behind Greater Manchester's economic growth has been the rapid, large-scale expansion of the private sector, in particular financial and professional services. In terms of employment concentrations against national averages, Manchester has a comparative advantage in many industries including financial and professional services, food and drink and higher education. Manchester is also streets ahead in the creative industries and IT and digital. Many top businesses have moved head quarters here, including the BBC, Co-op, Thomas Cook and Kellogs, along with major offices form companies like Google, Astra-Zenica, Brother and Siemens.
As of June 2014, there were an estimated 1.14 million people working in Greater Manchester in 93,000 businesses (BBC News) and, according to the think tank New Economy, there are 7 million people living within an hour's drive of the city centre.
Together with booming businesses, Manchester is home to four well renowned universities: Manchester University, Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Salford and the University of Bolton. All together these institutions provide education for over 85,000 students (manchester.com/features/stats).
This large pool of students in Manchester ensures that young people are moving into the city and create an even sturdier platform for future economic and business growth.
With its central UK location, Manchester is located within one hour's flight of London and two hours of most European capitals. The M60 Motorway has made the area more accessible than ever, whilst the comprehensive rail network boasts 142 route miles and 98 stations.
The Metrolink is Greater Manchester's tram network. Opened in 1992, it now has five lines across Greater Manchester and in 2014, a record-breaking 30 million journeys were made by passengers on Metrolink and that figure is expected to break the 40 million mark by the end of the decade (tfgm.com). It recently underwent a £1.4 billion expansion to 6 new destinations including the wealthy suburb of Didsbury and Manchester Airport.
Greater Manchester's main economic project has recently been revealed in Manchester Airport's dramatic £1 billion transformation project. The expansion will include a new super-sized terminal and faster high-tech security lanes and is said to be the biggest single construction project ever to take place in Greater Manchester. The 10-year scheme will more than double the size of Terminal Two and link it to an improved Terminal Three. The project is set to create 40,000 more airport jobs within 30 years and adding 10 million annual passengers in the next decade, a move that cements Manchester Airport's place at the very heart of the ‘Northern Powerhouse' economic force.
In May 2015, the Queen's Speech confirmed the push ahead with HS2, the high-speed rail link that will connect Manchester with London in little more than an hour. Currently, it takes just over two hours.
The latest data from the Land Registry shows that the average house in Greater Manchester cost £108,409 in January 2015, an increase of 4.1% (£4,293) from this time last year. Mortgage lending across the UK continued to decline in January, according to data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). Homeowners borrowed £14.3 billion last month - an 11% decrease on the same month in 2014.
With house prices growing and an ever-increasing workforce, demand for rental property in Manchester is at an all time high - not only from tenants but investors looking to purchase in the city. Rental property is being snapped up faster than it can be provided. Savvy investors should definitely look to invest in the North, especially in Manchester, as this is an area with high levels of employment, where reliable and cash-rich tenants are based.
Interviewed by The Times in May 2015, Assetz group founder Stuart Law shared his property expertise on how to best benefit from this Manchester and Northern surge, and how investors should focus on districts, which are close to the recently expanded Metrolink network and Manchester Airport. He mentions Northenden, Wythenshawe and Sharston (South Manchester) as the areas with most potential for growth. "They offer investors strong yields and young professionals are looking to rent property there as an alternative to the city centre."
Buy-to-let properties make up more than a quarter of Manchester's housing stock - the largest proportion in Britain. With yields averaging 8%, which are nearly double the London average, and significant potential for capital growth, Manchester was named Britain's buy-to-let hotspot by HSBC in June 2015.
Updated: June 2015
Risk Warning and Disclaimer:
The price of property can go down as well as up. Historic performance should not be taken as a guarantee of future performance. Geared property investment with mortgages can increase risk of losing money as well as increasing the possible gains. Mortgage products referred to in the website can be withdrawn by the lender or have rates or other terms changed without notice and reference to any products does not imply they are certain to be available in the future. Mortgages referred to may also have certain applicant restrictions and are for indicative purposes only although reasonable endeavours have been used to ensure that they are available at the time of publication and are applicable to a significant number of our purchasers. This site is for information purposes only and nothing on this site should be taken as definitive investment advice for your particular situation without you seeking additional guidance directly from ourselves or from other finance and property professionals. Property particulars on this site do not form part of an offer or contract. The developer and Assetz Property Ltd, whilst endeavouring to ensure complete accuracy in these property particulars, cannot accept liability for any errors. Valuations of property or indicated rents achievable are either estimated or derived from valuations and/or comparables and can change and should not be relied upon without your own additional valuation and research, but we have carried out reasonable endeavours to achieve accurate indications for these figures. All descriptions, dimensions, areas, reference to condition and, if necessary, permissions for use and occupation and their details, are given in good faith as provided by the developer and are believed to be correct. However, these are subject to change, especially, but not wholly, relating to any property that is off-plan or not yet complete. Any intending purchaser should not rely on them as statements or representations of fact but must satisfy themselves by inspection or otherwise as to their accuracy. The onus is on each individual investor to undertake their own due diligence, enquiries and inspections. Where shown, net yields are calculated as rental income less expected service charges less expected ground rent as a percentage of the property price. No void periods, optional letting agent costs, repairs or other costs are deducted. Our standard Terms and Conditions of Sale will apply. E. & O. E.