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Why Manchester is So Popular for Property Development

Try to count the number of cranes on the Manchester skyline and you’ll quickly lose track. Property development is exploding across the city and expanding out into the surrounding areas. At the time of writing, there are 32 new developments promising to deliver more than 10,000 new apartments to the Manchester area. It isn’t only residential developments that are booming, with projects like Old Granada Studios and the London Road Fire Station capturing the eyes of business investors. But why the sudden interest in this northern town?

Manchester has always battled for the title of England’s second city, tussling with Birmingham for the prized spot. If development continues the way it is headed, Manchester could soon rival London in many ways. While many people have been priced out of London, Manchester offers a second chance to enjoy city centre living without paying extortionate prices. Here are the top reasons that Manchester is so popular for property development.

Huge student population

Manchester is home to four universities and there are a further 14 universities and higher education establishments within an hour of the city centre. This burgeoning student population needs somewhere to live, and property developers have been quick to keep up with demand for high specification apartments that outshine the grotty halls of residence many are used to.

Cultural attractions

While Manchester might not have the same volume of cultural destinations as London, it is still a thriving scene. Manchester is the beating heart of the UK music scene and is home to countless live music venues, varying from the intimate Night and Day Cafe right up to the 21,000 capacity Manchester Arena. There’s also no shortage of art, theatre, comedy and sporting attractions in Manchester. Simply put, Manchester is an attractive place to put down roots, which is why more and more people are looking for property for sale in Manchester.

Business hub

When the BBC decided to move part of its operations to the purpose-built Media City in Salford, there were many people who were sceptical about the move. Nowadays, Manchester is proving to be a thriving hub for businesses. From the comparatively cheaper rents to the vast array of business spaces available, Manchester is a hub for new businesses in the North.

Infrastructure investment

Although plagued by rail issues throughout the summer months, the North of England is set to see the rail network vastly improved with the arrival of HS2. This high-speed rail link will make travelling between London and Manchester quicker than ever before. But even without HS2, a train from Manchester to London can take as little as two hours and five minutes, which makes it an attractive place to get on the property ladder, even if you need to have easy access to London.


Current property trends indicate that young people want to get on the property ladder but need a little help doing so. While some people have resigned themselves to the fact that they will never earn enough to afford property in London or the South West, Manchester and the North West offers affordable prices without losing out on lifestyle. Even the smaller suburbs of Manchester outside of the city centre have thriving high streets. Just look to areas like Urmston, Prestwich and Didsbury to see how successful the smaller suburbs outside of Manchester can be.

Huge but controlled development

While property development in Manchester might be escalating, it isn’t at risk of spiralling out of control any time soon. The city centre population has increased from 30,000 to 50,000 in the last ten years. This is steady but controlled growth and property developers are working hard to keep pace. Unlike in London, where some luxury apartments are left empty resulting in ghost towns, Manchester is committed to ensuring properties are purchased by residents, with some even setting aside a proportion of new builds for current Manchester residents.

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