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Manchester At Top of Regional Property League

A new report has confirmed that outside of London, Manchester is the city which has gained the most commercial property investment over the past 10 years.

The report, which was published by Core Cities, Core Strengths, and global property advisor CBRE, indicates that in the past decade, Manchester has been the recipient of commercial property investment worth £8.2bn, which puts it ahead of Birmingham, which received £6.5bn. A Glasgow was a close runner-up at £5.3bn.

In total, the 12 cities covered in the report witnessed £44.4bn worth of investment.

The report, which is the first of its type to put together this level of detail, identifies the primary factors that contribute to the growth of any major city: civic leadership, infrastructure, quality of life, and sector growth. It provides an in-depth review of the leading city property markets outside the capital, and reviews both the risks and opportunities of devolution.

In total, nearly 60% of all commercial property transactions in the UK took place in the regions beyond London and the South East.

These findings demonstrate that investors have opted to add more diversity to their real estate holdings thanks to the recent economic recovery, which has supported emerging investment avenues such as student housing and healthcare.

Before the financial crisis hit, assets like these accounted for only 3% of the overall investment. This has now tripled to approximately 10% of the total investment activity today.

Overseas investment into these regions has also attained its highest peak since 2007. The first nine months of last year witnessed twice as much investment as 2013 in its entirety.

The growth received extra support from political quarters, with Prime Minister David Cameron frequently referring to the concept of the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ during his recent visit to China. President Xi visited Manchester during his own tour of the UK.

Colin Thomasson, CBRE Manchester Executive Director said that over the past decade, Manchester has successfully positioned itself as an important European commercial city, and succeeded in attracting the attention of investors all over the world.

Mr Thomasson pointed out that Manchester has a superior transportation infrastructure, excellent universities, and both sporting and cultural facilities that “are the envy of the rest of the UK.”

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He predicted exciting times for the city in the years ahead, adding that this future success could only be further strengthened by all the references to Manchester as a ‘Northern Powerhouse’.

Among the drivers that propelled Manchester’s successful decade of investments are:

  • Favourable location: Manchester is the biggest and fastest-growing regional capital in the country, and recognised worldwide for its sports, culture, and commerce.
  • Manchester is home to 80 of the FTSE 100.
  • The city boasts one of the largest student populations across Europe, with over 100,000 students over five universities.
  • Superior connectivity: the integrated transport infrastructure is both multi-modal and world-class.
  • Manchester has enjoyed high levels of active investment from around the world. Leading strategic developments include Noma, Airport City, and MediaCityUK.


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