Manchester to remain one of the UK’s fastest growing economies

PUBLISHED ON Jan 10, 2019

Manchester’s property outlook is set to remain positive following new data indicating that the city’s economic prospects are bright.

The Annual Economic Forecast from EY predicts that employment in Manchester will grow at 1.2% between 2018 and 2021, the best rate of all areas surveyed. The city’s strong economic performance is reflected by a gross value added (GVA) of 2.2%, second only in the survey to Reading.

“Manchester’s success is much lauded and rightly so – that the city is once again leading the UK with comparatively strong employment and GVA figures is of course great news,” commented Bob Ward, the North West Senior Partner at EY.

Big names move in

EY’s forecast is in line with a period where a number of big-name employers have moved to the Manchester region, with benefits for the housing market following in their wake.

TalkTalk recently announced they were moving their headquarters to the redeveloped Soapworks building on the banks of the Irwell in Salford, and close to where Bupa have consolidated two offices under one roof in one brand-new building.

The BBC has moved a large proportion of its radio, TV and sporting operations to neighbouring Media City since 2011, while ITV have built a new studio complex across the Irwell from their rivals. Amazon, GCHQ and Moonpig have also announced moves to Greater Manchester in recent months.

Manchester City Council’s recent State of the City Report also confirmed that as well as outperforming many other UK urban economies, Manchester is doing better than many European rivals.

“Manchester’s success is much lauded and rightly so,” said Bob Ward, North West Senior Partner at EY. “That the city is once again leading the UK with comparatively strong employment and GVA figures is, of course, great news.”

City with a youthful outlook

A population jump of 6% in three years to 572,000 is fuelled by a healthy proportion of students staying on after graduation. This, in turn, increases demand for rental property and means savvy investors could take advantage of high yields in areas like the M14 postcode, of the top 20 buy-to-let areas in a recent Totally Money study.

Such is the popularity of this northern metropolis that 36% of graduates decide to return home after completing their degrees elsewhere; 69% of graduates from Manchester universities choose to stay on in the city taking advantage of the career prospects.

The future continues to look positive for Manchester, with Cushman & Wakefield’s data showing that house prices are expected to rise by 57% by the end of 2028. This is the highest among all of the top UK cities and shows property investment here is likely to be extremely lucrative.

Infrastructure investments

Served by it’s expanding international airport, Manchester is also set to benefit from faster journey times to the south when HS2 is completed with a major addition to the city’s Piccadilly station. Alongside plans to further expand the extensive tram network to cope with the cities continued growth.

International interest

Interest in the city that boasts the current Premier League champions as well as arguably the most famous football club on Earth is not restricted to the UK or Europe. reported in August that enquiries about Manchester from Chinese investors had gone up by 200%, while the direct Beijing-Manchester air route opened in 2016 has seen a big leap in visitors from China.

Source: Buy Association