[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]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 splitatom 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 recorded a 7.0% increase in house price growth compared to London’s dismal 0.4%.
Manchester is England’s top performing city for house price growth, the latest data from Hometrack shows, while London remains on a flatline.
The data comes from the property research firm’s UK Cities House Price index, which tracks housing data across 20 UK cities and regionally.
For house price growth over the last 12 months, Manchester obtained top spot at a cool 7.0% increase followed by Birmingham at 6.5% and Liverpool at 5.9%.
Price growth in London showed no signs of recovery, staying at a stagnant 0.4%.
Across the UK as a whole, prices have gone up by 4.3% over the last 12 months.
Many cities in the Northwest have posted high capital gains over the average for the last 12 months. Yet, there is still much room for growth, as prices remain low, well under the national average.
The average price in Manchester was at £163,200, Birmingham is at a slightly lower £159,800, and Liverpool, at £118,800.
Comparatively, the average price of a home in Britain is £217,400.
Although price growth in London is stagnant, housing in the capital costs more than double the national average, at a whopping £491,200!
Richard Donnell, Insight Director at Hometrack says that the London market is going through a period of price alignment, having posted some very large gains over the past 8 years.
“Over the last 12 months, average prices in London have grown by just under 1%. This is much lower than the annual average growth of 9% over the last 5 years. These averages mask a wide range of house price growth at a sub market level. Actually, house prices are falling across a third of London’s local authority areas.”
Homes in the capital have become unaffordable for many people after years of surging prices, while wage growth remains meagre and lenders apply tougher mortgage criteria.
However, the price gap between regional cities and the capital is narrowing.
Hometrack expects the gap in prices between London and other UK cities to close further over the next two years. This follows a similar pattern from 2002 to 2005 when London house price growth was relatively weak compared with the rest of the country, after a period of surging prices from 1996 to 2000.
Richard says, “We expect house prices to keep rising across regional cities such as Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh over the next two to three years. During this time house price growth in London will remain flat, with annual price rises of approximately 0-2%. As a result, the gap between house prices in cities outside of the south-east and house prices in London will continue to contract.”
Manchester and Birmingham are expected to be the first cities to move closer to London prices, with demand for housing likely to be boosted by strong job growth. They are forecast to return towards average prices being around half of those in the capital compared to a third today.
“The level of house price inflation seen in large regional cities during the last peak, between 2000 and 2003, gives a good indication of how much prices may rise this time around. If history is to repeat itself and these cities are to get back to where they were, then prices could increase by as much as 20-25%,” Richard adds.
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