The latest data by JMW Solicitors LLP reveals that compared to 2013, the number of house sales in the suburbs of Greater Manchester has soared, thanks to its ever-developing Metrolink system. Areas that benefitted the most from new tram line extensions in 2013 were Failsworth (M24) with an increase of 225%, Prestwich (M25) with 200%, Wythenshawe (M22) with 200% and Didsbury (M20) with approximately 178%.
Already popular postcodes such as M1 Piccadilly (+25%), M3 Deansgate & Castlefield (+157%) and M4 Ancoats (+122%) remained highly desirable, although they are now increasingly facing tougher and often more affordable competition from other up and coming areas with excellent transport links.
Easy access to a tram station makes homes in that neighbourhood generally more attractive to buyers as they provide a quick gateway for both work and leisure activities, thus making properties with access to the Metrolink easier to sell. Research suggests that if the house is located within a 500m walking radius of a tram station, people are more willing to pay as much as 4.6% more for the property, which on average adds an additional £8,300 to its value.
The Manchester Evening News has branded this phenomenon the “Metrolink Effect”. The same phenomenon can be found all over the country, in such cities as London and Glasgow where a nearby tube or railway station can easily add thousands of pounds to the average property value.
In 2014, public transportation in Greater Manchester saw a massive upsurge, as passenger journeys on Metrolink increased by 17%. More readily available public transport is not only better for local house sales, but it is also great in terms of sustainability, as a decreased amount of car travel is necessary, thus having positive effects on the economy as well as the environment. Whilst Manchester, with its 77 tram stops, 90 National Rail stations and plans for further Metrolink extensions to Trafford and Stockport, possesses a rather dense public transport network, meaning that 69% of homes fall within the 1,500m radius of a station (compared to London with 94% and Glasgow with 72%), there is still room to improve.
With the Devolution Deal in hand, Greater Manchester has more power than ever regarding spending for transportation matters, and this is simply the beginning. Devolution means that even more precise and area-tailored decisions can be made for the city and its neighbouring boroughs. Additionally the second phase of HS2, which is set to be operating from 2033, will see Manchester and the North West in general better connected with the rest of the country, pushing home sales further and further as connectivity increases.
Considering that Greater Manchester is currently outperforming the rest of the country in terms of its housing market, and the fact that its already excellent infrastructure is set to further enhance, the city is increasingly presenting itself as a great place to work, live and invest.