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When it comes to the UK, investors are actively exploring alternatives to London where prices have peaked and are now falling, and yields are stubbornly low. Manchester is the second largest city in the UK after London. It is fast becoming the most viable alternative for those who wish to invest in UK real estate. Demand for housing is far outstripping supply with 11,254 properties needed per year against a pipeline of only 7,000. There are a number of key economic factors supporting Manchester's investment case: population growth, education, employment, infrastructure and investment.

Population Growth

The movement of people from London and the south east to cities and towns in the north of the UK is known as northshoring. People are moving in significant numbers to benefit from new jobs, entrepreneurial opportunities, lower living costs, larger properties and a great lifestyle.

Meanwhile, 58% of Manchester's university graduates remain in the city post-graduation. And six in ten UK university students who previously lived in Manchester return home once their studies have finished.


Manchester is home to four universities, including the University of Manchester and the Manchester Metropolitan University. In total, there are over 50,000 full time and 50,000 part time university students in Manchester. This is the largest concentration of students in any city in Europe.

Employment and Growth

Manchester is home to 80% of FTSE 100 companies and the city boasts the highest rate of job growth in the country. Between 1999 and 2015, the number of jobs available rose by 84%. It is forecast to rise a further 1.2% a year till 2020.

Economists say that the main driver of employment growth has been the financial services industry. Manchester is witnessing the highest economic growth of the country, which is predicted to continue at 2.4% every year till 2020.

Investment and Infrastructure

GBP1 billion has been committed to the city as part of the UK government's Northern Powerhouse initiative.

The HS2 rail route, scheduled to complete in 2033, will run between Manchester Piccadilly and London in journey times of just one hour.

China invested GBP12 million into a business park near to the city's international airport, which in 2017 handled nearly 28 million passengers from over 190 direct destinations.

The new GBP350 million tram line will offer improved services to residents and commuters. It passes through Trafford Park, Europe's largest trading estate where 1,300 businesses employ over 35,000 people.

City Centre Living Driving House Price Growth

Much of Manchester's real estate success has been the resurgence in demand for citycentre living. In 2017, property prices rose 10% and much of this is down to new residents wishing to live and work in the centre of town. Manchester has seen one of the highest rates of population growth in the country. Between 2002 and 2015 the city centre population grew by 149% as residents sought out good quality apartments near world-class eateries and bars, as well as an easy commute.

Alliance Investments has a 28-year history of developing real estate in Manchester and selling luxury, city-centre apartments to home owners and investors, direct from the developer. Contact our Hong Kong office to learn more about Manchester real estate, to attend one of our upcoming events or to enquire about specific properties for sale.

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