Soaring property prices in London are encouraging Chinese investors to look to Manchester for new investment opportunities.
Fed up with the capital’s low yields, and wanting to follow in the footsteps of businesses, workers and families, investors are travelling to cities in the north for their latest deals.
About 58% of local university graduates remain in Manchester after graduating.
According to Mallam Grant, head of the Hong Kong office of Alliance Investments, Manchester is the biggest beneficiary of so-called northshoring – where people move from London to the North.
Manchester is the UK’s fastest growing city with a population increase of over 50% between 2001 and 2011, and 80% of FTSE 100 companies have offices there, with more expected to come.
The challenge has been providing enough homes for the sudden rise in population.
“The skyline is quickly changing with new, modern high rises,” Grant said. “And now what constitutes the ‘centre’ is more than just the M1 postcode as urban sprawl takes shape. We are witnessing a change along the city’s rivers, canals and old industrial areas that sit close to the central business district.”
Along the River Irwell or the Manchester Ship Canal, new developments are already in construction, revolutionising areas that are sat on the perimeter of the city’s centre.
“These new property developments will bring life to areas that have been neglected as part of the city’s economic shift,” Grant wrote in the South China Morning Post.
Broader development is taking place, gentrifying areas with new bars, restaurants, cafes and shops.
Competitive pricing and higher yields of 5% to 6% net are drawing the attention of landlords.
Cities further north are also drawing the attention of travelling investors.
“Their children are going to university there. Their friends operate businesses there. It’s home to the second largest Chinatown in Europe. Furthermore, China’s investment into the new Airport City will bring continued prosperity to this region,” Grant said.