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The city has gone from a powerhouse of the industrial revolution through its cotton industry in the 18th and 19th centuries to be one the UK’s main digital hubs in the 21st.

Thanks to intensive regeneration, investment and development over the last decade, Manchester has become the second largest economy in the UK and been ranked as the best city to live in the UK.

At Alesco, one of our main focus areas for property investment in 2018 and 2019 is Manchester, forecasting it to deliver the highest returns for our clients over the next five years. Here are some of the reasons why.

Huge, Expanding Economy

Part of the Northern Powerhouse, Greater Manchester represents the second largest city region economy in the country, with a Gross Value Added (GVA) of £62.8 billion. The city has been growing faster than any other in the UK: between 2002 and 2015 the population increased by 149% and jobs by 84%.

Key to this growth has been the tourism sector and the significant regeneration and development projects that have led to countless companies relocating from elsewhere in the UK.

As the third most visited city in the UK by overseas tourists, Manchester’s tourism sector is worth £7.9bn and supports over 94,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, “Northshoring” – where companies move or open an office in North England to avoid the high costs of London and the south – is becoming an increasingly common practice, with the likes of AstraZeneca, Siemens, Barclays, BBC, Google, Kellogg’s and RBS setting up a presence in Manchester in recent years.

World-Class Education

One hundred thousand students attend Great Manchester’s four universities, attracted by the city’s unique combination of world-class education, excellent graduate job opportunities and low living costs. Campuses are based around Oxford Road in the south of the city, making this one of the key investment areas.

Highly Liveable

The Economist’s Global Liveability Index named Manchester as the best UK city to live in for 2018. The index ranks 140 global cities on factors including political and social stability, crime rates, education and access to healthcare.

Massive Investments

The £800m NOMA scheme is the largest development project in North West England and aims to transform 20 acres of Manchester City Centre, creating 4 million square foot of office, retail, residential and leisure spaces.

The first phase – One Angel Square, the new headquarters of the Co-operative Group – opened in 2013. The entire scheme is set to be completed by 2029.

A Cultural Capital

Manchester is renowned for its musical and sporting prowess. Take That and Oasis both hail from the city, as do the likes of M People and The Hollies. Football is a massive part of Manchester city life thanks to Premiership powerhouses Manchester City and Manchester United.

Art and history lover? Whether you’re looking for exciting contemporary art galleries, specialist museums or collections of world-renowned artists, the city has something for everyone. Highlights include the Museum of Science and Industry, Imperial War Museum North, Whitworth Art Gallery, The Lowry, HOME and the Manchester Art Gallery.

A Creative & Digital Hub

The media and creative industries play a massive and vital part of this thoroughly modern metropolis. The city has become the second largest creative hub in Europe, due to £3.5bn of investment in recent years.

The hub includes MediaCityUK in Salford, a 200-acre site home to the likes of BBC, ITV, Ericsson and Salford University. In fact, it’s the biggest purpose-built media location in Europe, with over eighty creative and digital companies.

Amongst the area’s most well-known exports is the long-running soap Coronation Street (filmed at ITV’s MediaCityUK studio).

Well Connected

Manchester is easily accessible by road. The main motorways include the M66, M60, M56, M61, M62 and M67, providing access from all areas of the UK.

The city has two major railway stations, Victoria and Piccadilly, serving routes across the UK. The hotly anticipated high-speed train service – HS2  – will cut journey times between London and Manchester to 68 minutes.

Manchester Airport is the third largest in the UK, offering flights all around the world.

Low Property Prices

Despite its popularity and everything it has going for it, Manchester’s house prices are surprisingly low. While the national average house price in the UK is now around £280K, prices in Manchester and Salford stay well under that at just over £190K.  As a result, both investors and prospective homeowners can achieve real ‘bang for their buck’ in the city.


These factors make Manchester an ideal location for private investors; with current market conditions highly favourable, there really is no time like the present. Here at Alesco, we have a wide range of exclusive property investment opportunities in Manchester and elsewhere in the UK’s Northern Powerhouse; most are listed on our website here but to hear about our full range, give us a call today or fill in your details below.