Manchester emerging as a real estate magnet

For more than 20 years there has been talk of “Northern powerhouses” with successive governments promising to invest more money outside of London. On the whole these promises have been broken time and time again but there is evidence to suggest that Manchester is emerging as a real estate magnet. This is an area of the UK which has always been very popular with businesses as many companies look to reduce their overheads by moving away from London.

So, why is the Manchester housing market looking so buoyant at the moment?

Manchester properties in demand

A report by Post Office Money Mortgages has highlighted Manchester as a property market which is growing in popularity. You may recall a report just a few weeks ago suggesting that properties in the UK take on average 91 days to sell amid concerns of buyer fatigue. The situation in Manchester is very different with the average property selling in just 77 days which is a reduction of two weeks on the average. While the time taken to sell a property does not always equate to significant price movements either way, the evidence at the moment is positive.

Manchester property prices

Over the last 12 months property prices in Manchester have increased by an average 8.9% to £149,722. The reduction in the time taken to sell properties in Manchester is encouraging especially when you bear in mind that only 12 months ago the average Manchester property took 99 days to sell. There is obviously an array of different types of property market in and around the Manchester region although the area as a whole is certainly proving popular. When you also take into account the likes of Birmingham (average 80 day selling period) and Liverpool (average 108 day selling period) as competing “Northern powerhouse” markets, it does look very good for Manchester.

Other property developments

The demise of BHS obviously had a negative short to medium term impact on the high street but there are developments afoot to replace BHS in Manchester. Intu, the owner of Manchester’s Arndale shopping centre, has recently taken on the shopping centre’s BHS property along with joint venture partner M & G Real Estate. When you bear in mind the doom and gloom surrounding the UK high street, in light of the closure of BHS and other well-known retail names, this is certainly an interesting development.

Secret plans are afoot for the future use of the old BHS store amid suggestions that Swedish retail giant IKEA could be about to open a store in the centre of the city. This obviously bodes well for the Manchester real estate market as a whole suggesting there is demand from businesses and homeowners.


Manchester has been an active real estate market for many years now offering a viable alternative to the London scene where business base costs are extremely high. The fact that property in Manchester seems to be growing in popularity despite the general malaise surrounding the UK property market is encouraging. It will be interesting to see how the market in Manchester performs compared to the likes of London amid signs that some investors are now spreading their wings outside of the capital.

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