In an ideal location with some of the best transport links in the country, Manchester has been undergoing a jobs, technology, property and infrastructure revolution with hundreds of millions of pounds pumped into new transport links such as the expansion of the Metrolink tram network and the opening of Airport City, allowing thousands more air passengers and opening up new routes across the globe.
The property market has also been booming with construction across the city visibly moving up a gear. Thanks to the new transport and investment links brought about by the Northern Powerhouse project, foreign investment has been flooding in and the construction of new apartments and city living spaces have been boosted. Seen as one of the soundest investments available, off-plan buy-to-let developments in Manchester are in high demand. A surge in inward migration from across the UK has become apparent as the affordability and quality of life in Manchester attracts young graduates and professionals.
All of this has combined to create a booming local economy and more demand than ever for prime property in the Manchester city area. In time this demand will mean an expansion into the outer city regions such as Salford, Stockport and Bolton so here we’ll take a look at the next hot spots in the Manchester area that may well be worth investors’ attention.
Salford is well established as a buy-to-let hotspot which can rival even the city of Manchester itself. With superb transport links, a great range of amenities and beautiful surroundings, there are no downsides to living in the Salford area. The BBC, ITV and other media heavyweights fuelled the revolution when they decided to relocate to MediaCityUK on Salford Quays. The landscape of the former docks has changed immeasurably over the past decade and the area is now one of the most liveable and exciting parts of the UK.
Now a bustling and thriving media hub as well as a centre for quality jobs and industry, Salford is a poster child for the positive effects of regeneration in the region. With the likes of the iconic X1 Media City scheme and the landmark Fortis Quay development, Salford is a serious option for buy-to-let investors from around the world.
Whilst the focus remains around the MediaCityUK area, the Quays and areas close to the city centre such as Adelphi Street, there is no reason to doubt that development and regeneration won’t continue to expand to outer areas. As it stands, continued improvements to transport could significantly increase property prices around Ordsall Lane, for example.
For buy-to-let investors Salford is a very interesting prospect.
In January 2015, Stockport Council gave itself planning permission to redevelop two major sites in the area paving the way for an eventual £900 million investment revolution in the town. The train station area near Grand Central has been redeveloped to include office, retail and parking space as well as room for hotels, and also under construction is the £45 million Redrock development which will include a 1,200-space multi-storey car park, a public square and the pedestrianisation of Princes Street and Bridgefield Street.
According to Stockportal, a business investment group located in the town, over the next five to seven years around £900m will be ploughed into projects across Stockport, creating 5,000 jobs and more than 1,000 new homes.
The Stockport Exchange scheme, an investment from the council and partners of £145m, will include a 115-bed Holiday Inn Express hotel, a five-storey office building with ground floor retail space, and a new public space outside Stockport train station providing an attractive gateway to the town centre. Stockport has always lacked hotel beds, but that is about to change as Travelodge is also opening, this time in Regent House on Heaton Lane with a further 88 beds. Furthermore, there is also work underway in the Hazel Grove area of the town for a bypass road to Manchester Airport, easing traffic congestion down the main A6 road.
As the town continues to flourish under the investment scheme, property prices and subsequent investment in Stockport property is expected to rise sharply. Stockport train station, which is a stop for all of the main rail connections from Manchester Piccadilly, can connect commuters to Manchester city centre via Piccadilly in 10 minutes whilst connections to the rest of the country are all available.
With the majority of Stockport’s major investments opening in the next 18 months property investment in the area could prove very shrewd.
As if to underline the growing profile of Bolton, the Manchester Evening News recently ran a piece entitled: “Affordable housing and great transport links, why Bolton could be the perfect place to call home”.
It is not difficult to see what’s attractive about town. There has been significant investment in to the town centre in recent times with Market Place Vaults being the recipient of £14 million worth of investment in 2015.
Bolton also benefits from affordable housing, great transport links and some excellent higher education facilities such as the University of Bolton which has experienced a sharp rise in popularity over the last decade.
With more investment planned by the council and an expansion of transport links to make journeying between the town and the city centre even easier, it is likely that house prices and off-plan property investment in the area could be about to see a significant boost.
As the demand for more affordable housing and outer-boroughs where housing is affordable increases now could be the time to invest in Bolton’s future.
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