Manchester is one of the UK's biggest property investment hubs. The original industrial city has grown into a thriving cultural, leisure, and business metropolis attracting thousands of professionals and students each year. Buy-to-let apartments in the city centre number in the hundreds, and outlying areas like Ancoats, Media City, and Salford are equally as popular with both investors and residents. Manchester has become the UK's second city behind London and is one of the country's most attractive and thriving property markets. Beyond property, the city's economy continues to expand, attracting global business. Manchester has also been voted as the best city to live in within the UK, is one of the country's largest tourist destinations, and boasts job creation levels that have outpaced Tokyo, Berlin, and Paris between 2015 and 2020.
Average rents for a new one-bed flat in the city this summer were £1,000 PCM, £1,400 PCM for a two-bed flat, and £1,800 PCM for a three-bed. Following a similar trajectory to the mainstream market prime new build one- and two-bed apartments have outperformed larger three beds over the past year, at 18% and 19% rental growth respectively, versus 9% growth for three-beds. With prime new build rents reaching £1,300 PCM for a one-bed, £1,900 for a two-bed, and £2,400 for a three-bed flat.
Overall, between 2022 and 2026, JLL expects property prices to rise on average by 23.5%
Manchester's population growth is, of course, a massive contributor to this growing demand, with the city's population increasing by over 7% in the last ten years and over 27% in the last 30. Investors in buy-to-let in Manchester can thus expect consistent rental demand and long-term capital appreciation. In fact, most of Manchester's half-a-million residents are renting their homes. About 37% of Manchester's population is part of what has been dubbed "generation rent", between the ages of 18 and 34.
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Manchester has experienced strong price growth in recent years with one-bed flats in the city centre seeing the highest growth over both one and five-year periods, at 11% and 29% respectively.
On average, rents achieved for new developments in the city centre increased 18% this summer compared with the same point a year earlier in 2021
With competitive prices and high rental returns, yield opportunities in Manchester property investment are exceptionally promising. Manchester offers some of the highest rental yields in the UK, sitting around 6.3% on average.
Several regeneration projects have also served to expand and place Manchester on the map. Spinningfields, NOMA, Mayfield, and MediaCityUK are some such areas, all of which are contributing to Manchester's overall appeal to potential investors