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Wednesday December 12 2018

Why is Manchester the most popular place to live and invest in the UK?

Why is Manchester the most popular place to live and invest in the UK?

With help from the Northern Powerhouse initiative, Manchester has gone from being on the receiving end of jokes to being on the receiving end of envious glances from people in other parts of the UK, particularly those based in and around London, increasing numbers of whom are heading northwards in search of a better life.

A strong and growing economy

In practical terms, the popularity of any destination often depends greatly on the availability of work there. The only real exceptions to this rule are places which cater to retirees who have non-employment income. Manchester suffered massive economic upheaval when it lost much of its traditional heavy industry, but it has now repositioned itself as a much more diversified economy with a healthier balanced between old and new.

The remaining factories and farms sit alongside retail and services, especially financial services, leisure, recreation and hospitality, the creative professions and the digital economy. In fact, Manchester has worked particularly hard to develop its standing in these last two areas and has been very successful in this regard. It probably helps that the city also has two very popular universities, which help to build the local talent pool of digitally-savvy young professionals and entrepreneurs.

Affordable housing

When discussing the advantages of living in Manchester, the affordability of housing is often placed at the top of its list of charms, but the reality is that for most people housing is only affordable if you have a job (or are a full-time student), which means that Manchester’s economy had to show sustainable growth before its housing market could be taken seriously by either private buyers or investors. Now that this has been achieved, investors have turned their attention towards property investment in Manchester and the property market has been moving at a brisk pace, in sharp contrast to its London counterpart.

The good news, however, is that Manchester looks set to score highly on housing affordability for a long time to come for the simple reason that its housing market spent so long in the doldrums that it has a long way to go before it reaches anywhere near the sort of average price/average income ratio commonly seen in the south east.

General quality of life

It’s hardly surprising that Manchester is popular with students and young professionals since it has all the amenities they could possibly want.

The good news for the city’s long-term future is that it also has plenty to offer people looking to raise families in the area. In addition to having a number of high-quality schools (both primary and secondary), Manchester has lots of family-friendly options, including plenty of green spaces, even within the city itself and far more just outside of its boundaries. What’s more, it’s easy to access everything Manchester has to offer, even without a car, thanks to the great public transport facilities.

"Regardless of whether youre into culture, sport, nature, food or anything else, Manchester has plenty to offer, so it's unsurprising that more people are choosing to live and invest in the city."
Mark Burns

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