Buying property in Manchester

Published Oct 9, 2020 – 4 mins read

In the past few years, Manchester has been among cities in the northwest of England with the fastest growth in property prices.

The motives behind a move to the capital of the North are varied with buyers seeking property for a variety of reasons be it relocating for work, an investment opportunity or a pied-à-terre.

Here we highlight the varying of dynamics of the Greater Manchester market and share insight useful to those buying property in Manchester.

Why move to Manchester?

Birthplace of the industrial revolution, with a thriving economy that today continues to attract many manufacturing, financial, and research corporations, Manchester is aptly described as England’s capital of the North.

Manchester is at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse. That is an initiative designed to boost the local economy by supporting:

  • further business growth;
  • significant investment in research and development to foster greater opportunities for science and innovation;
  • the revitalisation of the region’s infrastructure through some of the biggest investments in a generation – including the provision of free WiFi for residents and visitors;
  • global recognition of the area’s competitive and thriving economy that constantly strives for further growth; and
  • the provision of world-ranking education, training and health facilities; and
  • the devolution of regional decision-making to directly elected mayors with powers to control significant ongoing budgets.
Why buy in Manchester

Population growth

As an economic powerhouse, Manchester’s population profile is clearly critical. The population of Greater Manchester currently stands at some 2.8 million and has grown by 289,000 since 2002. That is a growth rate over the past 18 years of 11.5%. A further 10% growth is predicted by 2034.

The growth has been fuelled by the availability of jobs and commercial opportunity and is supported by a trend for local university leavers to stay in the city once their studies have finished. Little wonder, then, that Manchester is a decidedly young city – with an average age of 38.2 and ageing year on year at a much slower rate than other cities in the UK.

Foreign investment

Foreign investors have not been slow to spot the opportunities in Manchester. The city is now the second only to London for foreign direct investment (FDI) projects.

The city was home to 37 FDI projects during 2018 – representing 53% of all foreign investment in the northwest of England.

House prices

A growing population of ambitious, predominantly younger individuals given the economic clout provided by good, secure employment, has naturally fired an impressive growth in house prices.

Over the past 5 years average house prices in Manchester have grown by over 15%.

There is a significant gap between the average price of all housing in the Greater Manchester area at £205,534 – which is less than the national average – and homes in more affluent areas, where prices of £3 million to £5 million are currently achieved.


The city is dynamic and cosmopolitan. Greater Manchester is home to four universities – the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University, which are both in the centre of the city, together with the University of Bolton and the University of Salford.

All of them – except for the University of Bolton – are included in the current QS World University Rankings of top universities.

Buying somewhere to live in Manchester

Homeowners of high net worth are attracted mainly to the southern parts of Greater Manchester – districts such as Hale and Altrincham – which are closer to the leafy county of Cheshire.

Altrincham and Hale are also conveniently situated for Manchester Airport and for the leisure and recreational attractions of the Peak District National Park a short way to the east. Depending on your brief when searching for a home these are the areas that may receive a closer inspection.

House prices across the whole of Greater Manchester are forecast by some analysts to record a 30% increase in the five years to 2023.

Buying somewhere to live in Manchester

Buying a second home in Manchester

Given the forecasts in economic growth and opportunities for business of the Northern Powerhouse in general and in Manchester in particular, you may have business interests there and be interested in owning a second home in the city.

If you are looking for a pied-à-terre from which to keep an eye on those business interests and as a base, while you are visiting the city a city centre apartment might prove ideal.

Investing in residential property in Manchester

Demand for private rented accommodation in Manchester is buoyant making it an area investors should be focusing their attention when looking for their next property investment. The four universities together have around 350,000 students – the majority of whom will be looking for affordable rented accommodation.

MediaCity, at Salford Quays, attracts workers in the arts and entertainment industries from the likes of the BBC, ITV and the studio facilities of Dock10 – not to mention the adjoining Lowry Outlet Shopping centre.

Thanks to the burgeoning commercial development in technological industries, there are also many professionals on temporary assignment to the city also looking for accommodation.

With a total of 35 postcodes in Greater Manchester, neighbourhoods, demand and house prices naturally vary quite widely from one part of the city to another. Latest figures suggest that average yields may vary from just 3.1% up to a more than healthy 7.6%.

In the most affluent areas, where properties are more expensive, it might prove more difficult to achieve yields at the higher end of the scale. The relatively low return of 3.1%, for example, is in postcode M33 – the district of Sale on the southern fringes of the city.

Nevertheless, in postcode M50, the Salford Quays area, home to MediaCity, in the heart of Manchester, yields of up to 6% are being reported.

Some of the lowest average house prices – at £128,085– in Manchester may be found in the very heart of the city, in the central retail district, postcode M9, where a rental yield of 6.2% may be achieved.

How a Manchester property finder can help you

Manchester is a city of tremendous opportunity. Whether that attracts you as somewhere to live, to own a second home, or to invest in buy to let property, the sheer size of this city means that there is considerable diversity from which to choose.

You might attempt your own research, of course, but to really get under the skin of this dynamic conurbation, you may do better to consult the professionals and appoint a Manchester buying agent to find not just a close fit to your requirements but that exact match.

Here at Garrington, we have the experience, expertise and specialist knowledge to scour the whole of Greater Manchester to identify and negotiate the purchase of precisely the home or investment opportunity you are seeking in this capital of the North. Contact us today – and the search can begin.