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Take one glance at Manchester’s skyline, and it’s easy to tell that this is a city encountering high levels of construction. Thousands of cranes scatter the skies of this major north-west location as it experiences unremitting regeneration across the city centre and wider Greater Manchester areas, but it is the residential sector specifically which is receiving record levels of development.

For the third year running, the largest amount of residential construction has been documented throughout Manchester since pre-recession over ten years ago. The city proves relentless in driving and expanding its real estate sector through the development of several iconic residential property schemes. A total of 14,480 units across 48 projects were logged on site last year alone, which was a significant increase from 2017 when there were only 41 active projects in Manchester.

Why Invest In Manchester

There are now 3,345 extra units under construction than there were during the same time last year in 2018, according to property specialists Deloitte Real Estate’s annual Manchester Crane Survey. Putting the colossal amount of residential property development into perspective, the launch of new residential schemes over the next three years surpasses the total number of units delivered in the 11 years between 2007 and 2018.

Manchester has also broken records in terms of total residential projects successfully brought to market. In 2018, 2,569 units were completed in what was the highest ever level indicated since 2006.

Despite residential construction taking place across most Manchester zones, a handful of districts have been named crucial in achieving these chart-topping heights of construction. Ancoats and New Islington boast numerous build-to-rent schemes including Smith’s Yard and Sawmill Court by Manchester Life, and The Astley, led by property developer Mulberry. These up and coming locations just outside of the painfully cool Northern Quarter in Manchester city centre, mix industrial charm with winding canals, independent shops, and an eclectic range of bars and restaurants. It’s the perfect place for young professionals to live in short walking distance from the city’s main commercial district.

Another part of Greater Manchester helping to facilitate its record-breaking boom in residential construction is Salford. Here, there are so many exciting Manchester buy to let opportunities emerging. Five landmark projects were completed last year including Slate Yard Wharf and Middlewood Locks, which have delivered high-quality rental accommodation to a property hotspot in between MediaCityUK on Salford Quays and Manchester city centre’s beautiful dockside locations of Deansgate and Castlefield.

Simon Bedford is a partner at Deloitte Real Estate, and this is what he has to say about Manchester’s rise in residential property construction:

“Last year Manchester established itself as one of Europe’s fastest growing cities, and this year’s report shows no sign of activity slowing down.

“The city is leading the way in catering for an increasing population through the development of entire new neighbourhoods – whether that is bringing forward new living, retail or office space.

“These new districts are redefining the parameters of the city centre as development spills out into the suburbs, particularly in the northern and eastern quadrants of the city.”

Going hand in hand with residential construction is the commercial sector, which maintains its contribution to the wider construction boom ongoing in Manchester. In recent years, pre-let construction has helped to shape the industry and fast-forward its growth, much like how off-plan property investments have propelled the size of the residential buy to let market. Over 2 million square feet of top-quality office space is now under construction across 13 major schemes, marking an enormous increase on the 1.5 million square feet of office space developed between 2015 and 2017.

Manchester Construction Boom
Manchester Construction Boom

A quarter of office developments were pre-let in 2018 compared to in 2017 when only 10% of developments were leased prior to the commencement of construction. The £1 billion St John’s development and the New Bailey projects are huge commercial office deals now underway in the city, welcoming new businesses predominantly in technology, media and creative industries.

In 2018, ten new office schemes began in Manchester, bringing 1,541,797 square feet of superior floorspace to the city. Upholding this supply of Grade A workspace in conjunction with maintaining a strong delivery of residential units is integral to attracting commercial investment to the city, which will, in turn, create job opportunities, retain talented working professionals and promote economic growth throughout the entire region.

Manchester’s Crane Survey also noted considerable investment into education, research, airport and hotel sectors to enhance already soaring investor confidence, but the residential sector trumps all to hit peak levels of construction in over a decade. It retains its status as a leading UK city across all areas of property, particularly skilled in the production of innovative residential areas on a wide scale, without compromising on standards to best serve the rapidly rising Manchester population.

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