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What sets the Bristol and Manchester property sectors apart from other UK cities? A new study reveals why they are the top locations for future growth.

A new report from CBRE analysing various property markets across the UK’s towns and cities has revealed that the Bristol and Manchester property markets have the highest growth prospects over the next 10 years, making them top property investment locations right now.

All sectors of the property market were put under the microscope, including office, retail, senior living, hotels, student accommodation, and multi-family and single-family housing. The two cities regularly came out top when looking at factors such as population and household growth projections, GDP, affordability and more.

Other locations that scored highly in the analysis were Brighton, which ranked in the top 10 for more than half of the various sectors, along with Leeds, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Glasgow, which all scored highly in certain areas pushing them into the top 10.

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What’s driving Manchester property market growth?
Manchester is an extremely diverse economy in terms of the range of industries that thrive there, from advanced manufacturing to business, finance, life sciences, energy and environment. Such a wide scope of employment prospects has a direct impact on the Manchester property market across all sectors.

Its top three growth sectors, according to CBRE’s report, are student accommodation, multi-family housing (such as apartment blocks, build-to-rent, etc) and single family housing (which includes more traditional, standalone housing).

The retail, hospitality and leisure sectors also make up an important part of the Manchester property scene, with Manchester having one of the “biggest retail economies after London”. It also has one of Europe’s largest student populations, says the report, with 750,000 full-time students living and studying in the city.

All of this contributes to an exciting outlook for Manchester property investors looking for strong future growth prospects over the long term. The city is also expected to have the highest population growth over the next 10 years, of 5.92%, as well as the highest employment growth (10.4%).

CBRE’s projections show the area expects to see the second highest growth when it comes to consumer spending (24.7%), and the third highest growth in life sciences employment (18.5%).

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Honing in on Bristol
The other top-ranking city, Bristol, was hailed for its large and diverse young population, alongside world-class universities. Its strongest sectors in terms of property growth were in the office, urban logistics and multi-family housing sectors.

“Bristol’s tech ecosystem is particularly appealing to small businesses, with only Manchester and Birmingham being home to more tech SMEs than Bristol,” says CBRE.

The city expects to see a 12.97% increase in office employment over the next decade, with strong population growth of 3.6%. It does have one of the highest house prices across all of the cities analysed, of £360,000, which could be a barrier to some, while it expects employment levels to rise by 5.6% over the course of 10 years.

Bristol is often seen as a go-to city for London leavers, as it offers a similar city feel but on a more low-key level, and is obviously more affordable than the capital, while still being in the south of the country. However, many parts of the north of England are competing now when it comes to their appeal for those leaving London.

Bristol ranked top when looking specifically at affordable housing, though, with CBRE pointing out: “Cities experiencing strong demographic expansion will see the highest increase in demand for already constrained housing supply.

“And as this gets more challenging to access via the open market, either due to high rental and sales values, or lower average wages, the need for delivery and investment into affordable housing will increase.”

By Eleanor Harvey

Source: Buy Association

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