In the City: Manchester

A dynamic location with a diverse range of businesses, from cutting-edge tech startups to ecommerce giants, it’s no surprise that Manchester’s commercial property market is currently booming and Office Principles is proud to have hitched its wagon to join the blazing trail.

Having taken office space in Manchester last year, and with a team based in the City, we’ve put a stake down in the North West and invested in what is deemed to be the linchpin of the Northern Powerhouse.

Manchester is indeed an incredibly exciting and vital place to be at this moment in time for our sector…

Making headlines

There’s so much happening to the commercial property market in this City – big investment, changing demands, the arrival of significant tenants – and the landscape is shifting constantly.

We addressed this last month when we kick-started our first property seminar in Manchester with commercial property consultant, Avison Young’s Rupert Barron discussing the most significant headlines about the local market and its specific trends.

Rupert made the point that there are approximately 7.2 million people living within an hour’s commute of the City Centre, which positions it as the largest area for commuters outside of London.

In 2018, Manchester enjoyed the biggest regional office space take up with a glut of international corporates deciding to take space in the locale and there are currently a number of major schemes under construction, with tower cranes inhabiting the skyline, indicating that there is more to come.

Booking.com, Amazon, We Work, Hewlett Packard, WSP and HMRC were recent corporates to take substantial space and Microsoft and Jaguar Landrover are just some of the names soon to follow…

Estate agent, Savills recently published research indicating that Manchester is benefiting from a 44 per cent year-on-year increase in commercial property take up levels, with last year being the fifth consecutive year that take up of this space was recorded in excess of 1.2 million square foot.

Foreign investment

Approximately two and a half years on from the launch of the direct flight path between Manchester and Beijing, the City is reaping the benefits as Chinese investors continue to buy into the property market and invest in Manchester.

Note also that Manchester and Liverpool were jointly ranked the 10th most popular location globally for foreign direct investment in 2017 and the EY Attractiveness Survey UK ranked Manchester the most successful city to attract foreign development investment outside of London for 2017/18.

Outside of the Centre…

And it’s not just the City Centre that’s experiencing the boom.

Other areas of note, alongside the City Centre, include Salford Quays and MediaCityUK and South Manchester, with a particular focus on those spots clustered around the airport, which are attractive for multi-nationals that want easy access to foreign transport links.

Sub-regional centres, such as Bolton and Stockport, are also ranking high for office demand thanks to investment and clear regeneration strategies. Superior transport links serve to highlight the appeal, making both credible locations for incoming businesses and national and international investors.

All in all, the North West (with a special nod to Manchester !) is most definitely the place to be.