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Why Manchester is a prime investment opportunity

The city of Manchester is one of the top locations for UK property market investors and buy-to-let properties, and there’s a long list of reasons why. The area boasts a thriving economic landscape, one of the country’s largest major student scenes, a growing population of young professionals, and significant investments in major infrastructure that translate into high demand and consistent rental yields.

According to the Big Six Residential Development Report by JLL, rental prices increased by 19.6% in the 12 months leading up to June 2023, and Manchester has also enjoyed the highest growth of the UK’s six “big cities” over the past ten years, with its economy growing by 32%.

Below we break down why Manchester is a prime UK property investment opportunity.

The location

Located in the heart of the United Kingdom, within the North of England, Manchester is one of the best connected and most accessible cities in the UK.

The city’s central geographic location puts it at the heart of the Northern labour market, giving businesses in the city access to one of Europe’s largest commuter workforces. On top of having the largest travel-to-work catchment area of any regional UK city, more than 2.8 million people live within the city region and the working age population is just under 1.8 million people.

The city’s world class, multimodal and integrated transport options include a comprehensive rail network, 48 kilometre outer ring road, and an international airport that serves more than 185 destinations.

Manchester also offers excellent access to other major UK cities. Direct services to and from London run every 20 minutes, taking just over two hours, as well as frequent, direct trains to neighbouring areas including Leeds, Liverpool and Birmingham.

Student life

Manchester’s student population is one of the largest in all of Europe and with over 100,000 students in the region, a report from Zoopla in 2020 found that demand for property in the city outweighs supply by 5:1. Additionally, international students attracted by the globally renowned level of education form approximately 20% of the University population. The city also boasts an impressive graduate retention rate of 51% - the second-highest in the country after London.

The vast, growing student population translates to a consistent demand for varying types of student property to suit all budgets. This includes everything from houses and city centre apartments to purpose-built accommodation on or near campuses. These properties achieve excellent returns for investors through capital appreciation and rental yields commonly found upwards of 7%.

Quality of life

Previously voted the ‘Most Liveable City in the UK’ and the ‘Third Best City in the World’, Manchester offers an exciting lifestyle for people of all ages and backgrounds. From the buzzing urban city centre and its international cultural attractions to the natural beauty of the Pennines and the Peak District, the city boasts access to music, performing arts, sport, leisure, history and heritage attractions.

Manchester is also enjoying the benefits of large-scale government investment and development of infrastructure. The city’s new innovation district will occupy a nine-hectare site near Piccadilly Station and will include 1,350 new homes. Manchester is also part of a £160m 'Investment Zone' which is predicted to create around 32,000 jobs with public funding to be spent on the region's advanced manufacturing sector, infrastructure and businesses over the next 10 years. The initiative is expected to attract around £1.1billion of private sector investment to the region.

Business opportunities

Since the early days of the industrial revolution Manchester has played a key role in the UK’s economy. Today it is home to more than 2.8 million people, with an economy bigger than that of Wales or Northern Ireland, and represents the largest city region economy outside London with a gross value added (GVA) of £78.7 billion.

Major international companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft,, Kellogg’s, Jaguar Land Rover and others have set up offices in the area. Additionally, several Manchester-born companies have flourished in recent years, including Boohoo, AO and AutoTrader. With the boom in businesses now calling the city home, easy access to other major areas and a large retention rate for young graduates, Manchester boasts a thriving job market and local economy.

Buy-to-let property in Manchester offers investors an exciting opportunity to capitalise on an incredible location and a high, consistent demand for quality housing. For those looking to learn more about the area’s thriving market and the options available to investors, Tailor My Property has an expert network of property, mortgage and finance professionals who are able to advise and assist with a wide range of queries.


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