Manchester was recently named the third best city in the world by Time Out, beating London and only coming behind San Francisco and Amsterdam. As one of the most liveable cities in the UK, there are many attractions to the city resulting in an increase in the number of people and businesses deciding to move here. New developments in and around Manchester continue to appear, and every few weeks, there seem to be more development sites springing up. On a clear day, you can even see the many cranes in the skyline from our office in Altrincham. Although the city faced challenges in 2020 and the first half of this year, there are very promising signs that Manchester will continue to grow, and investment in the city is not going to let up.
Like all other cities in the UK and across the world, the commercial property market in Greater Manchester was affected by Covid-19, particularly for office and retail lettings. The move to home working and online shopping saw less of a demand for office and retail space, which resulted in a downturn of these types of lettings of 26% and 56% respectively in the first half of 2021 [Estates Gazette]. However, other sectors have performed very well considering the challenges, with industrial lettings and investments experiencing only a slight downturn and the residential property market continuing to boom.
With many workplaces now offering greater flexibility on working from home, we are likely to see a number of companies deciding to move to smaller offices as they will not have the same need for space. It’s also likely to lead to more companies opting for flexible and shared workspaces, so we may see a change in the types of office premises offered on the market. The continued demand for residential properties in Greater Manchester could also see buildings that were previously used for commercial purposes being converted into houses and flats, something that is being encouraged by the government in town centres.
There is still an undersupply of residential properties to buy and let in Manchester, and the city has remained a hotspot for property investment throughout the pandemic. With many businesses deciding to start up or relocate to Manchester, the many job opportunities and the prospect of living in such a thriving city is attracting many young professionals. With the population of Manchester increasing at such a rate and predictions that residential property prices in the North West will rise by over 25% in the next five years, Manchester and the surrounding areas are the ideal places for investors and developers as they continue to thrive.
If you would like more information regarding the commercial property market in Machester, you can contact our Commercial Property Team below.