Manchester Spotlight

Growth across the North of England over the last twelve months alone has been extremely impressive. The influx in investment and commercial activity has seemed to have a hugely positive impact in Manchester and allowed the city to begin to close the gap on the capital, albeit there is still a long way to go. The positive impact was best demonstrated by the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) figures, which increased by an estimated 0.4% between Q3 and Q4 2017.

Naturally, the newly crowned ‘Northern Powerhouse’ has attracted political discussion over the same time period. Mostly this is due to the decision around regionalisation and the start of the process towards reducing the national power of Westminster. Whilst many can argue the opposite, the overriding viewpoint stands that with increased power in the regions, Manchester will be able to better invest the public purse and allow the city to grow at a faster rate. Of course, this is an exciting prospect for those involved with the city!

The research from a variety of the private practices also presents interesting findings into how the area performed in 2017. Whilst reviewing the Knight Frank publication, it became clear just how positive 2017 proved to be for Manchester, for instance, the investment volumes increased by 48% on the previous year, reaching £917million. This was extremely interesting when you consider the fact that the number of investment transactions (33) was similar to the previous year, meaning the value per transaction has increased at a substantial rate.

Overall, 2017 proved to be a successful year, many researchers have speculated different reasons behind the trend, but nonetheless a positive year for the city. The core characteristics which are constant across different views seem to be the fact that London is pricing people out of the commercial property market. Many of the major institutional property funds have looked towards the regions as they seek ‘value for money’, an example being the City Tower which was sold from Bruntwood to Schroders for £132million. Schroders used to be a London focused organisation but have since looked to the regions in search of higher yields and ‘better’ investment opportunities.

Let’s hope Manchester continues to grow at such an impressive rate and starts to compete with London!

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