Taking a closer look at the Manchester economy

The economy of Manchester is one of the largest in the country, bigger than that of Wales or Northern Ireland, so what drives this northern powerhouse? Here we take a closer look at the Manchester economy.

The United Kingdom is arguably one of the most diverse and exciting locations for property investors since there are endless cities and landscapes to explore. Manchester, which is located in the North West of England is no exception.

As one of our key investor locations here at Thirlmere Deacon, we’re keen to delve into Manchester’s rich history, as a place which has continued to reinvent itself over the centuries. Once the epicentre for the British Industrial Revolution, Manchester has retained its global recognition and appeal to the present day, although now as a home for new and emerging technologies. 

For those considering investing in the Manchester property market, here is a flavour of what the city has to offer, along with an explanation of its fascinating past, on which the city that stands before us today has built its foundations on. 

Manchester: An Overview

  • Population: 553,230
  • North West England 
  • 1 international airport
  • 4 major train stations
  • 4 universities (100,000 students)
  • Voted the 6th best city in the UK for quality of life 

Sitting in between Liverpool to the left and Sheffield to the right, Manchester is a top destination as a place to work, live, study and visit in the UK. 

Associated with the worker bee emblem due to its residents’ grit and determination, Manchester is quite literally a hub for innovation. In recent years, thousands of businesses have emerged around the technology, engineering and creative sectors as a result of billions of pounds worth of investment into the city. 

As the heart of the Northern Powerhouse, Manchester has replaced Birmingham as the ‘UK’s second city’ in the eyes of many. The regeneration, investment and ultimately opportunities Manchester provides are the main reasons behind this accolade. 

Manchester has fantastic connectivity to nearby cities, not to mention international destinations. Plus, an abundance of jobs and further education opportunities. It’s perhaps no wonder that Manchester is a standout location for investors since the city is rapidly developing further still by the day. 

The History Of Manchester

Although the origins of the city stretch back to 1301, most people consider the early years of Manchester to be centred around the time of the Industrial Revolution. 

Recognised as the world’s first industrialised area, Manchester was at the heart of the global cotton trade in the early 19th century. Manchester was already a booming location for the production of textiles before the Industrial Revolution even began, and its positioning along several arterial waterways made the city a hub for trade, connectivity and power during this time. 

At its peak, Manchester became one of the leading manufacturers and exporters of cotton in the world. However, following the outbreak of World War I, the UK cotton industry collapsed.

Many similar industrial towns and cities struggled to recover. However, Manchester bucked the trend in finding ways to reinvent itself. In the 1980s, Manchester started to undergo its biggest transformation of all as it focused on the technology and creative sectors, especially during the mid-1990s to the early 2000s.

In 2002, the city hosted The Commonwealth Games, bringing in £1.1 billion worth of investment into the city. Manchester has since gone on to host various other major sporting and cultural events that have skyrocketed its appeal. 

As well as being home to two major football teams, Manchester was the birthplace of bands such as Oasis, The Smiths, The Stone Roses and Joy Division. The city is even home to its own soap, Coronation Street which is the longest-running serial drama in the world. The show continues to be filmed to this day in MediaCityUK, which is one of Manchester’s most successful new developments, employing over 15,000 people as of 2019.  

Despite its incredible history, the best is yet to come for Manchester. Undoubtedly, the concentration on the city’s future rather than the past by local and national governments in recent years has proved to be a smart move. It has secured Manchester’s fate as one of the leading cities in Europe.

The Economy Of Manchester

  • £3.5bn recently invested into the city’s media and digital industries
  • £1bn overhaul of Manchester Airport is underway 
  • Manchester Piccadilly is set to be a terminus of the HS2 & Northern Powerhouse rail scheme 
  • Enterprise city is a new quarter being developed for tech and innovation 
  • Manchester’s economy grew by 3.6% in 2019 – 0.2% higher than the UK average
  • There were 22,850 enterprises in Manchester as of 2020
  • Manchester experienced the highest ever job investment in 2021

Whereas cotton or coal was once Manchester’s greatest export, in today’s market its talent. Now the fastest growing tech hub in Europe, around 100,000 residents are set to move to the city in the next four years. 

MediaCityUK is already home to the BBC, ITV and more than 250 creative and technology-based businesses. Other areas of the city including Ancoats and Enterprise City are also undergoing impressive transformations. 

Manchester Economic Outlook In 2022

  • The average salary in Manchester (2022) is £37,500 – Talent.com
  • The biggest number of job vacancies are in science, research, engineering and technology (5,252) – Manchester City Council 

All in all, the economic outlook for Manchester both in the short and longer terms couldn’t be more promising. Vast investments in the transport network and various industries including science, technology, digital and creative sectors continue to fuel the city’s positive economic outlook. The city’s average salary is well above the UK average of £25,971.

Post-pandemic recovery also looks strong in Manchester, with the highest number of jobs on record created in 2021. Major companies including PwC and the Warren Buffet-backed Berkshire Hathaway have all invested in city centre real estate in recent times. 

Even booking.com have made Manchester their HQ, with the city’s economy showing no signs of slowing down, even for the otherwise challenged commercial property sectors. 

Manchester Property Market 

Manchester has an average property price of £240,867. Prices are up a staggering 17% since 2019, with a further predicted price rise of 15.6% by 2026. 

Manchester’s property market is diverse across buy-to-lets, student lets, short term market and even hotel room investments. This means the city has something for every investor, all at a far more attainable price than in London, which has an average property price of £534,977 as of June 2022. Interestingly, the capital also recently recorded the slowest growth in the country, despite having higher property valuations overall.

What this tells us is that Manchester is not only far more attainable for investors, but future predictions look extremely promising. The standard of build in Manchester truly raises the bar, especially with some of our developments here at Thirlmere Deacon, where luxury mod cons such as on-site gymnasiums, cinemas, networking spaces and coffee bars are the new norm.  

Manchester is definitely one to watch, and with so much to offer investors and tenants alike, it’s clear to see why. 

View all investment opportunities in Manchester.

Manchester Property For Sale – Invest With Thirlmere Deacon

Is Manchester calling your name? Thirlmere Deacon has several exciting opportunities for investors in Manchester. One of our newest developments is Vision, with an unrivalled location in the M1 postcode. 

Starting at £180,000 with a projected yield of 7.5%, now is the perfect time to secure your slice of the Manchester property market, before the sharply predicted purchase price rises over the next 5 years take hold. 

If you’d like any further advice on anything we’ve mentioned above, or if you are considering investing in one of our opportunities, please drop us a message or call us on +44 (0) 2039507939.

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