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Survey Unveils Manchester is Optimal Investment Target

Recently released figures from the annual Crane Survey by Deloitte Real Estate indicates that Manchester is now the optimal investment target, especially for those interested in residential real estate.

The survey also showed that residential real estate is the dominant form of development in the city, with the number of properties presently under construction at their highest levels since 2008.

The report revealed a clear agenda of development and growth for the Northern Fringe areas of the Manchester city centre. The Greater Manchester Housing Fund, which has confirmed its intention to provide £300m over the next 10 years, has already supported the construction of 744 properties within the study zone since it began.

The Manchester core presently has 13 residential projects in progress, which accounts for 2,982 homes. This number is almost double last year’s total of 1,426.

Higher than normal levels of development activity are planned for this coming year, and Deloitte anticipates that 2016 will be the busiest building period since prior to the recession. The group has found seven large office developments in progress, representing a combined 1m square feet.

Active residential developers in and around central Manchester include DeTrafford Estates, English Cities Fund, Lend Lease, Pinnacle MC Global, Renaker, and Select Property Group. Prominent projects include 1 Water Street, Angel Gate, and One Cambridge Street.

Deloitte Residential Real Estate director John Cooper pointed out that last year, only 1,426 units were constructed within the study area, indicating that activity levels were going up and there were recognisable signs of recovery in the residential development sector. In 2015, the question concerned whether this level of growth was sustainable, or if it was being artificially elevated by the Homes & Communities Agency or funding schemes such as Build-to-Rent, which accounts for Greengate, Nuovo, Smithfield Square, and The Point.

Mr Cooper concluded that Manchester’s ability to sustain residential development was not artificially induced. There are clear signs that the city is widely regarded as a place to invest. New schemes being successfully developed have increased in number from three in 2014 to 12 in 2015, which is the highest amount of new starts since the recession began. 2016 is expected to deliver 400 more units than the pre-2008 average, a level of activity unparalleled in any other regional UK city.

Specialists in Construction Insurance

The Deloitte report also spotlights an absence of any Grade A office units completed last year: the first time this has happened in over 14 years.

The University of Manchester, however, has a large programme in the works in Fallowfield. Once complete, the scheme will make 3,000 new beds available, and Select Property Group recently obtained planning consent for developing the former BBC location on Oxford Road.

Two new important leisure sites have been constructed since the last Crane Survey, and the Deloitte report also includes an in-depth review of Manchester’s gradual success in becoming an international travel destination.

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