Manchester: the next hotspot for GCC investors

Manchester has always been a hotspot for property investors, however in recent years it has clawed its way up the ladder, particularly with GCC investors. Manchester is now only behind London as the most popular UK city for these investors; with the attractiveness of London diminishing and investors looking to the North of England at cities like Manchester and Liverpool.

With a thriving economy and ever expanding population of young professionals, it’s not difficult to see why this north-west city has become a high demand location for investors from countries like Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Valued at almost £60billion, Manchester has the largest economy in the UK outside of London; an attractive statistic to  both investors and renters.

The ‘Northern Powerhouse’ project – a multi-million pound government backed global institutional investment project – also has a large footing in Manchester, investing in “skills, innovation, transport and culture, as well as devoting significant powers and budgets to directly elected mayors” (Northern Powerhouse, 2017). Plus, it’s not just cultural focused investments that Manchester can boast – it is also an economic hub, with 80 of the UK’s FTSE 100 listed companies and brands calling the city their home; including the BBC, Unilever and Vodafone.

While 54% of investors are still looking to London for their investments, Manchester has seen an increase to 13% of total GCC investors looking to the north-west for property, followed only by Liverpool (5%), Oxford (3%) and Cambridge (3%). One of the reasons for this could be the rising prices of accommodation in Manchester; the city has seen a 52% increase in the last six years and this is only predicted to rise even more between 2018 and 2022 – 40% faster than the UK average in the rental market.

But, it’s not just rising house and rental prices that have Manchester pinpointed as one of the best investment spots in the UK – this rising population in the city, and the increasing demand for skilled young professionals has put Manchester on the map for many UK and overseas investors. “Between 1966 and 2016, Manchester’s economy doubled in size, and its population increased by 28%, almost 17% faster than the average among UK cities” (Select Property Group, 2018) and this population has shown no signs of slowing. It’s predicted in the next 7 years that this population will grow by a further 125,000 people.

Developers are quickly noticing this trend and more and more property is being developed in Manchester and the surrounding commuter cities including Liverpool, Bradford and Sheffield. With the low supply and strong growth forecasts over the next decade, Manchester offers a unique opportunity for both developers and investors to enter the market.

Based on the GCC Investor Report 2018 by Select Property Group

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