It’s fair to say that there has been an air of uncertainty surrounding the UK economy thanks to the country’s impending exit from the EU, but it appears that this uncertainty hasn’t affected the property market in the North West, where the tenant demand and property development continues to thrive.
You only need to look at the number of cranes in the Manchester skyline to see the evidence of said activity. According to Deloitte’s crane survey, there are currently 78 schemes underway in Manchester, almost twice as many as its nearest rival, Birmingham.
It is predominantly the residential sector that is driving the record level of development activity. There is a total of 14,480 units currently under construction in Manchester - double that of two years ago. Around 2,569 new homes were delivered to market in 2018, which was the highest level in 12 years. On top of this, Manchester will see the highest number of residential units being delivered to market in 20 years.
Deloitte’s findings are also backed up by the property company JLL. According to Elaine Rossall, UK head of offices research at JLL, the number of jobs being created in the city can be thanked for these record figures in Manchester’s property market.
“Job creation is at record levels and is spread across a range of sectors. Commercial development is increasingly catering to occupier demand and this is translating into positive, continued growth across the other property markets,” she said.
“The current strength is also against a backdrop of the UK economy performing better than expected in the run up to Brexit, with Manchester really bucking expectations.”
The statistics certainly back her statement up. Manchester has seen many huge companies setting up office, especially those in the tech sector. On top of this, the city has seen the biggest wage growth since 2018, which means that many graduates are choosing to stay in the city after graduating or moving from elsewhere for new opportunities. Forecasts suggest that Manchester will see 10,000 more office workers in 2021 than it did in 2018.
David Lathwood, lead director in the North West for JLL, said: “Each year we look at the UK’s big six regional centres, it’s clear that Manchester isn’t just already outperforming other cities but that the opportunities in front of it are rich and diverse.
“This year, it’s also clear that Brexit uncertainty hasn’t had the same impact on occupier sentiment than it has in other areas of the country. The fact that we’ve had another record-breaking year of office take-up means the priority for the market now is ensuring that development rates can keep up.”
It’s clear that the property market in the North West and Manchester continues to be in a league of its own. If there was ever a time to invest in this exciting region, now is certainly the time to do it.
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