Investors with their fingers on the pulse understand that the best cities to invest in are built upon regeneration and urban renewal.
Europe’s fastest-growing tech city and most popular property investment destination—Manchester—has been nothing short of spectacular. This Northern city has built a reputation for creating more than its fair share of world firsts, including the first IVF baby, first split atom and graphene isolation, and where the first stored programme computer was built.
Manchester’s growth from a market town of some 10,000 people, and its rise from industrial decline to the heaving, bustling metropolis that it is today, was founded on the back of regeneration and urban renewal. Some of Europe’s most successful regenerations took place here.
Manchester has become the latest buzzword in property investor circles because of its huge property boom in recent years.
From a small town of 10,000 people, Manchester is, today, the most densely populated of the UK Northwest’s 39 local authority areas with over 550,000 people and, along with Salford, one of the fastest-growing cities in the country.
The UK’s Most Liveable City owes its urban renaissance to the mammoth regeneration plans that have been crucial in creating jobs, driving the economy and population, and improving facilities and amenities within its borders.
Europe’s Most Successful Regeneration Projects
One of Europe’s most successful urban regeneration projects to date is Spinningfields, located in Manchester’s central business district.
Named in 1968 after a narrow back street, the transformation of this £1.5 billion regeneration project from a run-down college campus to a leading regional business quarter has been astonishing. It all began when Allied London struck a deal with the Manchester City Council in 1997 to develop the area following the IRA bombing that decimated the surroundings in the previous year which finally took place in the 2000s. The regeneration has resulted in an estimated 20,000 jobs, double what it used to be in 2008. The transformation has been so impressive that locals find it hard to remember or imagine what existed before renewal works began!
Spinningfields celebrates its 54th anniversary this year. It is now home to 165 world-class financial and commercial organisations, haute couture brands, F&B and even Manchester’s Courts of Law!
MediaCityUK is another notable success. Its creation has played a huge part in Manchester’s growth, namely in the technology and digital media sector.
Built on the site of a derelict industrial dockland, the £2 billion regeneration initiative transformed the area into a media hub with one of the largest high definition facilities in the European continent. It is also Europe’s first wired certified neighbourhood. More than 10,000 jobs have been created in Salford because of MediaCityUK.
Spinningfields and MediaCityUK play a key role in Manchester’s reputation and subsequent growth. In 1987, the population of the city centre was merely 300; Between 2001 and 2011, Manchester’s population increased by 20% and in the last 10 years (2011 – 2021) since the conclusion of Spinningfields and MediaCityUK, the population in Manchester and Salford has’s population has grown by a whopping 121%, whilst Salford’s grew by 130%!
Demand for housing increased, driving house prices. Between 2011 and 2021, average house prices grew by over 70% in both Manchester and Salford.
Upcoming Investment Hotspot: Excellent Capital Growth Over the Next 20 Years
Property investors who staked their bets on the growth of Manchester and Salford have much to smile about. Capital gains aside, the dramatic expansion of the population and workforce in the last two decades have also seen an increase in rental rates, thanks to ongoing regeneration.
Recent figures from Rightmove (Aug 2022) show that private rents in the UK have risen at a record 23.4% over the last 12 months alone. Rightmove also reports that rents outside London have risen19% higher than when the pandemic started in 2020—the highest annual rate ever recorded in 16 years. Manchester rents, though expectedly lower than London, are higher than other large regional cities such as Liverpool, Birmingham and Newcastle.
Manchester continues to benefit from other regeneration initiatives including NOMA, St John’s, and Piccadilly; but its latest regeneration project, known as Victoria North, is one that will dramatically alter the city over the next 2 decades.
Like Spinningfields and MediaCityUK, Victoria North will be a massive gamechanger.
Victoria North is the largest regeneration project this side of the globe, jointly developed by the Far East Consortium (FEC) and the Manchester City Council to the tune of £4 billion.
The regeneration, which extends across 7 neighbourhoods, is expected to add 35,000 people to the city. With an estimated 200,000 people estimated to move into the Greater Manchester region over the next 15 years, Victoria North is exceedingly critical to the city’s growth and economic success, accounting for over 30% of its workforce growth. Also in the pipeline are plans for a new school, tram stop, one of the largest city centre green spaces in Manchester, GP surgeries, walking routes, and the restoration of the long-forgotten River Irk, one of the founding rivers of the city.
As the first phase of the Victoria North regeneration, the Red Bank neighbourhood is an excellent investment opportunity for capital and rental growth. Some 600 high quality homes including apartments, townhouses and maisonettes will be constructed in its pioneer development known as Victoria Riverside.
The Manchester property market has grown incredibly, driven by a shortage of properties and rising rents. Wise investors will take advantage of the price of the upcoming developments in Victoria North and enjoy capital growth over the next 20 years as property prices increase.
Come meet the UK developer this week in Singapore at the launch of the newest investment opportunity in the Victoria North regeneration on 24 & 25 Sept. Click HERE to register.
By Vivienne Pal