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Property investment in Manchester has taken off in recent times, and transport is one of the key reasons why. The city boasts fantastic transports links on a local, national and international scale. Along with high levels of investment into infrastructure, this has set a new standard for quality of life in Manchester. 

With great rental prices and fantastic job prospects, it comes as no surprise that more and more people are choosing to make the city their home, including new graduates and local young professionals looking to build their career, as well those looking to relocate from other parts of the country.

Up and Away

Manchester Airport has always been an important travel hub, but things have really boomed in the past 12 months. With a predicted four million passengers passing through the terminals over the summer holiday period, the airport also saw a record 8% year-on-year increase in its passenger numbers in April with the annual rolling passenger total reaching 28.8 million.

In March, the first flights took off from the new passenger pier which is home to 11 boarding gates and more than 1,400 passenger seats as well as a new multi-storey car park with space for nearly 4,000 vehicles. This is the first phase of the wider T2 extension and development programme that has welcomed a £1 billion investment and is set for full completion by 2024, which will ultimately see the terminal more than double in size. 

New Routes

The £1bn-T2 expansion project comes hand in hand with the announcement from the airport carriers of a string of new routes, including EasyJet flights to Kalamata, Nice, Jersey and Bordeaux. As Manchester buy-to-let investment has long been a favourite with overseas investors, we have also seen great efforts made to welcome the Chinese contingent. 

More than 260,000 passengers travelled between Manchester and Beijing or Hong Kong in the last year, and the launch of direct flights to China has seen a 38% increase in the number of Chinese visitors to the north since 2016. This is impressive both as a standalone statistic and also that it reflects a growth rate higher than both London and the UK average.

This will no doubt have further positive impact on buy-to-let investment in Manchester. The city has three world-class universities with places already highly sought-after by national and international students. A wider and more efficient transport hub makes it even easier for these students to relocate to the city, pushing up demand for rental property.

Full Speed Ahead

It’s not just up in the air that Manchester travel is picking up the pace. In a speech earlier this month at the city’s Science and Industry Museum, new Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged government funding towards a new high-speed rail route that will cut travel time between Manchester and Leeds to 30 minutes. This phase of the Northern Powerhouse rail project is designed to “turbo-charge” regional growth and revive “deprived towns” as part of a billion-pound investment made into a series of new intercity routes. 

More details will be announced in the next couple of months once the HS2 review has been conducted and these new plans integrated into the development. But this is just the latest positive step in improving region-wide connectivity which Mr Johnson highlights as one of the four key components of success in the UK, along with “liveability, culture, and power and responsibility”. 

It also highlights the essential role of mass transport in allowing people to prosper. As Mr Johnson said of the “hopelessness” felt by many growing up just a few miles away from Manchester centre, “”The crucial point is it certainly isn’t really the fault of the places, and certainly isn’t the fault of the people growing up there.”

This is important news for property investment in Manchester, as research shows that buyers are prepared to spend 7.8% extra to be within 500m of a train station – such a prime location translates to positive rental yields for buy-to-let landlords.

Transport Investment Vision

Among this impressive roster of positive developments, Manchester remains focused on delivering their long-term 2040 Transport Strategy. This includes a key goal to ensure 50% of all journeys in Greater Manchester are be made by walking, cycling and public transport by 2040, equal to a million more sustainable journeys every day. 

This will be done by targeted investment into infrastructure, including new developments to support sustainable transport. It also means investing in establishing a desirable and well-connected town centre, including three tram-train trials in the city. This will ultimately cement Manchester’s commanding and central position in the Northern Powerhouse by fully integrating HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail, and other national infrastructure with local networks. We can expect to see great changes over the next five years to the Strategy, meaning a cleaner, more efficient and integrated transport network. 

These developments are also set to unlock a new industrial revolution, playing directly into Manchester’s prime position as a digital superpower and a top location for tech and digital talent seeking to establish and further their careers with the very best companies in the business. 


The new airport expansion and commitments from the UK Prime Minister to establish a Manchester-Leeds rail link are just two recent developments that suggest the outlook for Manchester’s property investment market is strong. A great deal is being invested and delivered to benefit the region’s economy and tourism, vastly improving the quality of life for travellers and residents. It’s all having a positive knock-on effect on property prices and creating a prime opportunity for buy to let in Manchester. Contact Alesco today for more details.