Manchester: Modern from the Very Beginning

Just a day or two ago, we talked about the Manchester housing market stealing the limelight from London. Here’s a peek at what makes Manchester the amazing city that it is. 

Image from: https://www.visitmanchester.com/
Image from: https://www.visitmanchester.com/

Manchester, UK, might best be known for being the world’s first industrialised city — besides being home to just a couple of popular football clubs, of course. Once a manorial township with peasants working the field for the Lord of the Manor, the city of Manchester is now renowned for being one of the most modern cities on Earth following a multitude of revolutionary discoveries.

Manchester’s History

Manchester began expanding “at an astonishing rate” around the turn of the 19th century as people flocked to the city for work from Scotland, Wales, Ireland and other areas of England following a boom in textile manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution. It developed a wide range of industries, so that by 1835 “Manchester was without challenge the first and greatest industrial city in the world.” — Cotton spinning was Manchester’s specialty; it made them the largest marketplace for cotton goods!

Fun fact: In Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, the term “manchester” is still used for household linen: sheets, pillowcases, towels, etc.

Manchester went on to accumulate a fair share of world firsts: the world’s first IVF baby was conceived in Oldham, Greater Manchester in 1978, the atom was first split and graphene first isolated at the University of Manchester in 1917 and 2004 respectively, the first stored program computer was also built in the University of Manchester in 1949  — these groundbreaking milestones were reached in just one city, three of which occurred in one building!

Fun fact: The University of Manchester has 25 Nobel Prize winners. This has landed them in the top 25 schools with the most Nobel-winning affiliates!

Manchester Today

Manchester is known as the UK’s 2nd largest city and is also the third-most visited city in the UK, after London and Edinburgh. Additionally, in 2014, the Globalization and World Cities Research Network ranked Manchester as a beta world city, the highest-ranked British city apart from London. Manchester was also touted UK’s Most Liveable City in 2013 according to the Global Liveability Survey.

A colossal amount of money has been put into Manchester’s development as part of the British government’s Northern Powerhouse push. Starting from 2017, £1 billion will be spent to transform the Manchester airport, further establishing Manchester as one of the most connected cities in the world. The city already boasts direct connections to many of the world’s major capitals, like New York, Hong Kong, Singapore and Beijing. The project is set to be completed by 2023. Another development in Manchester’s transport system is the new High Speed Rail (HS2), still under construction, which will cut travel time between Manchester and London from the current 2 hours to just over an hour when it is ready, and, in its second phase, also reduce the time required to travel to Birmingham and Leeds. The first phase of the £56bn railway is due to open in December 2026. The onward legs to Manchester and Leeds is set to open by 2032-33.

In addition to Manchester’s connectedness is its technological growth — Manchester is Europe’s second largest creative tech hub! With a GVA of £4.1 billion, 82,300 people working in creative and digital companies and over 7500 creative and tech companies, Manchester is a place where creativity and technology are jointly driving the next wave of innovation.

Supporting Manchester’s digital expansion are the four leading universities in the area. These establishments have a proven track record for collaborating with production on ground-breaking research and development in areas from health to data analytics, cyber security, text mining and cloud computing. The universities also produce a constant stream of highly-skilled computer science graduates which further bolsters the industry.

With all these ranks and progress, it is no surprise that Manchester’s property market flourishes just as much. Manchester registered a 7.3% increase in house prices over the entirety of the year 2017 following an undersupply, topping the list of all cities in the UK. Manchester has also topped the list of the best UK property hotspots in 2018 according to The Property Hub — in a recent Property Hub podcast, they discussed how Manchester is becoming the “London of the North”.

Here’s a video that captures Manchester’s essence: 

Found below is a short recap denoting Manchester’s success:

  • Birthplace of the Industrial Revolution
  • Where the world’s first IVF baby was conceived
  • 25 Nobel prize winners
  • Where they split the atom and isolated graphene
  • Where the world’s first stored program computer was built
  • Population of 2.7 million people
  • Over 200 languages
  • With 50% growth in the last 10 years, Manchester is the UK’s fastest-growing city and Europe’s second largest creative tech hub
  • Around 70,000 people now work in the city’s creative, digital and tech industries
  • A rich talent pool of over 110,000 thinkers from four leading universities
  • Between 2015 and 2017, over £1 billion was spent on the city’s infrastructure
  • Direct flights to many of the world’s cities, e.g. New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing etc.
  • Called the UK’s second city
  • Global exporters of world-class culture as well as technology; a city united by a passion for sport and music
  • One of the world’s best places to visit in 2015 — the only British city to be given this accolade by the New York Times
  • Home to some of the world’s biggest brands which contribute to Manchester’s £50 billion economy

To add to Manchester’s already exceptional list of prosperity are several interesting facts:

  • Chetham Library, Long Millgate which opened in 1653 and is still open to public today, is the oldest free public reference library in the United Kingdom
  • A car fuelled only by coffee grounds, nicknamed the ‘car-puccino’, constructed in Manchester made a trip from London to Manchester in 2010
  • Manchester is the only place in the world where you can obtain a degree in ‘Mummy Studies’ – the University of Manchester has facilities to enable the study of ancient Egyptian mummies
  • Emmeline Pankhurst, the leader of the Suffragette movement in the UK, was born and raised in Moss Side, Manchester

With Manchester’s rich history, participation in the digital age, expanding transport system, flourishing property market and more, one would be regretful not to see how they can get involved with this blossoming city. Manchester’s property market in particular, following a housing shortage, would be most advantageous for investors looking for the next big thing.

 

Hello Manchester, Farewell London!

Saving hard, but you can’t quite put aside  enough? Thinking of putting your money to work by investing in UK?

Here are 4 things you should know before deciding where to invest. Invest in property located in areas with

  • Stronger currency
  • Stronger and stable economy
  • Rapid job growth
  • Vast education opportunities

This impacts the returns on your investment apart from increasing the value and ‘rentability’ of your property. Capital growth is also key to property investment. The greater the growth in property value,, the bigger the total profits.

UK has always been a haven for property investors. But, as London property prices soar higher and yields go lower, property in the cities outside London are showing greater yield potential. The Brits, too, are starting to show interest in properties outside of London.  Indeed, it is now the regional cities in which you should put your money! Before you decide where to invest, take a quick a look at HSBC’s annual research on rental yield around Britain. Thank me later.

The data shows Manchester leading the pack in rental yields, as well as several other locations with profitable returns.

But if it’s only London property for you, you might find this link helpful: http://bit.ly/1J5P4co

 

Property Investment: London Falls & Regional Cities Rise

In September 2017, it was reported that London house prices had fallen for the first time in 8 years at a record drop of 0.6%. The capital was subsequently deemed the weakest performing region in the UK for the first time since 2005.  

According to recent news from Acadata, house prices in London continue to plummet, extending a slump that’s seen the average property in the capital lose almost 2 percent its value over the past year.

It seems as if the great divide has materialized in the UK property market, separating London from other thriving cities. According to Acadata, while values continue to fall in London, they are growing in other regions apart from the southeast. Property-website operator Rightmove has released fresh data that supports the claim of major regional growth, showing that average prices have climbed to a new record of  305,732 in April, despite a drop in London. The shifting power dynamic in UK’s major cities is becoming apparent, as efforts in expanding housing, jobs, resources and investment are becoming increasingly concentrated in areas outside the capital.

Javad Marandi, a British businessman with investments in commercial and residential real estate points out what is increasingly becoming obvious: “The best regions to invest in lie outside the capital – it’s no longer all about London.”

London Is Falling; So, What’s Rising?

Various lists claiming the emergence of “the next London” have penetrated the news, using undersupply and rental yields to gauge where, exactly, business in the UK property market is shifting. What investors know when it comes to such lists, is that repetition should lead them to the right places to invest their money.

Matt Stevens, Director of The Mortgage Genie, has recently shared that the buy-to-let hotspots set to offer the most competitive returns in 2018 are Manchester, Liverpool and Gateshead. Similar results were recorded in a more recent report released by JLL, which has singled out Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds as the “ones to watch” over the next five years, as it expects them to outperform other cities in the UK. The two constants found in both reports should signal to investors the immense potential in the northern UK region.

Manchester and Liverpool show strong price growth towards the end of 2017, which has continued into 2018. Image credit: https://www.thesun.co.uk/uncategorized/5222878/whats-next-for-house-prices-and-what-will-happen-to-the-property-market-in-2018/
Manchester and Liverpool show strong price growth towards the end of 2017, which has continued into 2018. Image credit: https://www.thesun.co.uk/uncategorized/5222878/whats-next-for-house-prices-and-what-will-happen-to-the-property-market-in-2018/

Manchester and Liverpool are serious players in the property market for their relevance as core cities for science and technological growth — this is partly credited towards the government’s push of the Northern Powerhouse.

Supporting Manchester’s title as ‘the Silicon Valley of Britain’ is a new report by Tech Nation, which has revealed that tech companies in the UK’s northern region have attracted investment at a faster rate than anywhere else in Europe over the past five years. Manchester particularly, was the key performer within the region, with tech investment growing at a whopping 668% over the 2012-17 period. This growth can be seen in the number of private equity firms in Manchester, which is 31 as of now, with a further three rumoured to be opening this year compared to the six to eight firms in the city over the previous two decades or so.

Liverpool also holds a prominent position in the upcoming digital age, with the establishment of the Knowledge Quarter, placing it on the cusp of becoming a world-class destination for science, innovation, education, technology and the creative and performing arts.

Recent news highlights an ecologist and astrophysicist from Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) who, together, have made a significant breakthrough in the animal conservation scene. Dr. Claire Burke, the astrophysicist behind the new species-saving instrument, explains that the software used to identify galaxies is now being used to resolve problems involved with the tracking of endangered species!

With the northwest region boasting expansion in relevant industries, investors will find that their best bets lie in cities like Manchester and Liverpool.

Conclusion

Ultimately, the UK remains a good and safe place to invest your money due to a weakened pound and a structural housing undersupply. The best opportunities undoubtedly lie in major regional cities such as Manchester and Liverpool.

That said, it is important to note that the market in London, subject to a variety of conditions, will eventually bounce back, just as the housing market in the Midlands* bounced back from a low in 2015 to become one of Britain’s fast-growing housing markets today. On a positive note, it is during these apparent slumps that shrewd investors should invest in order to receive satisfying returns when the market bounces back.

Liverpool, Manchester Named UK’s Top Buy-to-Let Market Again

 Image by Totally Money indicates rental yields across the maritime city of Liverpool.
Image by Totally Money indicates rental yields across the maritime city of Liverpool.

Liverpool, home to the UK’s first-of-its-kind Knowledge Quarter, has been named UK’s top buy-to-let city for yet again. The city has been a top pick for the rental market since 2013 .

The research by independent credit broker TotallyMoney, which surveyed 580,0000 properties across England, Scotland and Wales, found that universities outside London provided landlords with the highest yields, with Liverpool claiming top spot at up to 12% average rental yields.

The L6 and L7 postcodes in Liverpool dominated due to its cheaper prices, but also, most importantly, because of their  location which is close to the city’s three main universities. The universities provide a catchment of some 70,000 students, which drive demand for housing.

Landlords have even more to rejoice about as the upcoming construction of the high-speed rail , and (HS2) will continue to boost the economy in Liverpool, thus  driving demand for housing creating opportunities for the buy-to-let investors.

The best buy-to-let cities in Britain

Figure shows two postcodes in Liverpool dominated the top buy-to-let in Britain.
Figures show Liverpool dominating the top ranks of the buy-to-let market in Britain. Info source: Totally Money

Liverpool & Manchester to benefit from Northern Powerhouse development,job vacancy and infrastructural growth

Liverpool is a core city of the UK's Northern Powerhouse. Image from Urbanrealm
Liverpool is a core city of the UK’s Northern Powerhouse. Image from Urbanrealm

Meanwhile, the housing market in Manchester has also been doing well, recording strong average rental yields of up to 10.08%.

Recently, Manchester was also named as the best place to be a landlord in the UK, recording a splendid rental price growth of 5.76%!

Like Liverpool, Manchester is also a part of the Northern Powerhouse, an initiative by the  UK government to create economic balance between the North and South.

Both Liverpool and Manchester will see great development in the future in terms of job opportunities, training, and skills development — a situation that smart property investors  are taking advantage of.

In Liverpool, part of the city’s development involves the massive Liverpool Waters scheme, which will reconstruct brownfield sites into full-fledged neighbourhoods and transform the city’s northern docks into a world-class mixed-use waterfront development.

In Manchester, the population continues growing, thanks in large part to the existence of four central universities which have enforced the student population in the city. With a student catchment of some 100,000, Manchester offers good opportunities for landlords.

London’s lacklustre performance

In the past, London was the main focus of investors looking to capitalise on its massive economic and infrastructure growth as the city centre of UK. Today, Liverpool and Manchester have eclipsed the capital thanks to its strong and varied development growth.

Property yields have not done well in London either due to over inflated property prices. Housing prices have flatlined, with experts predicting that Brexit will cause a downfall in the market based on current trends. What’s clear is that rental yields in Liverpool is seven times higher than London, which unfortunately now sports a high number of postcodes that are listed within some of the UK’s worst areas for buy-to-let yields.