As part of an ongoing series of city property investment guides, the team at London-based Aspen Woolf analyse property investment in Greater Manchester…
Greater Manchester is one of the biggest metropolitan regions in the country. With a combined population of 2.8 million, it’s encompasses a series of towns and cities that have huge potential for property investment.
At the end of 2018, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) announced plans for a major programme of regeneration and investment for towns across the region. The initiative was launched as part of a wider approach to planning and property in Greater Manchester, which the GMCA says is a shift away from the “developer-led, green field first approach of the past.”
All councils across Greater Manchester are contributing to the initiative, by bringing together public and private landowners, community groups, developers and other major stakeholders, all focused on unleashing the massive potential for development across the town centres. The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, says that the initiative is about breathing new life into the towns of the region by providing “higher density mixed and affordable housing, with local retail and leisure facilities. All of this will be supported by improved digital connectivity and transport infrastructure.
Why interest in property investment in Greater Manchester is rising
Greater Manchester consists of eight major towns, 20 smaller towns and 50 more significant suburban centres. Metropolitan boroughs that are embracing these regeneration plans include Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Bury, Bolton, Oldham, Wigan, and, of course, the cities of Manchester and Salford.
And with such a huge area to work with, the authorities are clear that in order to regenerate the town centres, co-operation is key. Ongoing efforts across multiple bodies, including private developers, the GMCA and councils are making these positive changes.
Master-planning across Greater Manchester is taking this town-centre first approach, and it is paying off in cities across the region. For example, the town centre of Bury has already undergone huge regeneration and redevelopment over the last few years. In 2015, the town was runner up in the prestigious and progressive Academy of Urbanism’s ‘Great Towns’ award, showing what the positive difference can be made.
The multi-million-pound investment programme for Bury has seen the average house price reach £154,675 for a semi-detached house, and turned the town into a very modern business, tourism, retail and living hub. In the 12 months between April 2018 and April 2019, average prices for terraced housing in Bury increased by 5%.
Town centres across Greater Manchester are following the same plan – to provide solutions to housing, retail and transport. These plans include innovative town centre developments for affordable, contemporary, attractive housing within reach of amenities and facilities, including business spaces, public sector hubs, event venues, cultural offerings and restructured retail spaces.
Greater Manchester’s Local Industrial Strategy is transforming the city region
The Local Industrial Strategy sets out the integrated approach taken by the Government and the region’s leadership to bring about the regeneration of key sites and town centres. Towns across this vast region are strong and sustainable hubs, not only for housing, but also transport and employment.
Further development and investment are planned particularly for the creative hub around the Quays, the industrial centres of Rochdale, Wigan, Trafford Park and Bolton, and the research centre along the Oxford Road corridor.
Another example of a town undergoing regeneration can be seen with Bolton. The town represents a crucial strand of the economy of Greater Manchester, with an economic output worth approximately £4.6bn. Bolton is one of the biggest towns, not just in the UK, but in Europe, and as such boasts a host of regeneration opportunities to service its rapidly increasing population. Currently, there is a regeneration scheme set to transform Bolton, with infrastructure, homes and jobs being created as part of this £1 billion regeneration plan.
Bolton is a quick 20 minutes away from Manchester by train and is the perfect example of a burgeoning regional commuter town. While millions are going into its regeneration, housing prices remain low for now, making it the ideal place to invest. The population is rising, as people flock to take advantage of the opportunities the for investors looking for a low entry point with huge potential for the future.
Average property prices are around £163, 354, according to Rightmove.
Taking advantage of these relatively low prices will stand investors in good stead to reap the advantages of the regeneration scheme that will transform the town over the next 10 years. The investment includes five key areas across Bolton, which are Church Wharf, Coral Valley, Crompton Place, Cheadle Square and Trinity Quarter.
Bolton is increasingly popular with investors
While retail, offices, education and tourism/leisure are key components of the scheme, there is also a strong focus on housing. A spokesman from Bolton’s Town Council says that they aim to create 1,800 new homes, which will form brand new housing developments in the entre of town. The idea is to provide different types of housing, for every need, and in turn boost the community with sustainable long-term investment.
Bolton has much going for it, with an easy 12-mile commute to Manchester opening up opportunities for professionals. Manchester has the biggest economy outside of London in the country and offers incredible opportunities for people who want to live in Bolton to enjoy cheaper housing and exciting regeneration but work in Manchester. Statistics from the town council say that 62,464 both live and work in Bolton, with 42.151 living there but commuting to other towns and cities for work.
The town is also home to one of the big four universities in the region, which means 11,000 students come to Bolton every year from all around the world. Many graduates like to stay on in the place of study if the jobs are there, and the regeneration of the town is targeting these young professionals. It is projected to create approximately 7,400 new job roles. These, along with cheaper housing and a bright future, make Bolton a great place to live, work and invest in.
Infrastructure and transport improvements
Bolton is a prime example of the changing face of Greater Manchester, as the city-region upgrades, integrates and improves its infrastructure, housing and business opportunities.
Port Salford’s development will link international trade routes with Greater Manchester, and improvements to road and rail will speed up the already convenient connections to the rest of the country. Manchester Airport is the world’s gateway to northern England, with direct routes to Asia and the Far East further increasing investment interested from overseas.
The city region is burgeoning, and the time for investors to show interest is now. Over the next decade, the towns across Greater Manchester will be transformed into modern, urban centres for working, studying and living.
|About Aspen Woolf |
Aspen Woolf are an award-winning independent property advisory, specialising in identifying wealth building opportunities in both the UK and internationally through smart, safe and secure property investments. Aspen Woolf are a member of The Property Ombudsman. They have been trusted by investors worldwide for over 14 years. https://aspenwoolf.co.uk/