Why would you consider property investment in the North West? After all isn't it "grim up North...?" At least that’s the tired old stereotype you’ve probably heard if you're from the south.
The fact is the North West has never been grim... and recently it's been going through a period of transformation, building a well-deserved reputation as the UK’s new hub for industry and commerce.
Not only this, but property investment opportunities across the North West are far more affordable than the South East.
Those who invest in the North West are much more likely to benefit from higher returns than most other areas of the country. The North West’s biggest city Manchester, for example, achieves an impressive average rental yield of 6%, compared to 4.9% in London.
With the growth of high tech, digital industries, excellent universities and a rush of young professionals looking to call the North West ‘home’, the region should now be on any property investors' radar.
"On the 6th day, God created Manchester." The UK's 2nd largest urban area offers everything except a beach. Home to two of the world's best football clubs, great music and culture, a world class university and growing digital and media industry, Manchester is truly the Northern Powerhouse. While investment in the city centre is already booming, the less well-known towns and suburbs surrounding Manchester also provide great opportunities for property investment.
Manchester’s city centre housing market is positively booming. As of July 2018, there are c.7,000 new apartments under construction and the development pipeline shows no sign of abating.
Underpinning the growth in demand is a surge in young professionals looking to live and work in Manchester, offering big city life without the high rents and expenses that come with London.
While the effect of the government's much vaunted 'Northern Powerhouse' initiative remains debatable, with large scale investment in Media City, Manchester Airport and Manchester University's faculty of science, demand for city centre living is not expected to drop anytime soon.
Manchester city centre accomodation is a mix of gleaming new builds and the refurbishment of many characterful mills and factories that still stand from the industrial revolution. Castlefield was the first city centre district to see such regeneration, dating back to the 1970's. More recently, Manchester's now famous Northern Quarter has been transformed from a state of urban decay into a vibrant hub for work and socialising.
To put scale to Manchester's growth, 60,000 people are expected to live in the city centre by 2027 - a 1000% increase on the number who lived here when Manchester hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2002.
Perhaps one of Greater Manchester’s most significant locations, Stockport is a bustling metropolitan area that has experienced tremendous growth in the last decade.
An entrepreneurial hotspot, Stockport has beaten both regional and national business start-up rates per 10,000 residents. Thanks to the town’s obliging infrastructure, Stockport is more capable of sustaining and encouraging business than other similar sized towns across the country.
Aiming to be a ‘thoroughly modern destination’ for businesses, Stockport is experiencing a flood of new and exciting ventures that are expected to inject even more money into the local economy.Bank Chambers
One our most recent developments in the area can be located right across from the local market place. Designed to complement the existing bank chambers building, these brand-new ultra-modern apartments are prime examples of Stockport’s melding of tradition and modern living. To find out more about this development, click here .
A borough divided by striking visual contrasts, Oldham sees its residents placed between the vibrant Manchester City Centre and tranquil outskirts of the Peak District. A region that prides itself on its innovators and entrepreneurs, Oldham’s reputation for big business far precedes it. With a business base that numbers upwards of 6,000, Oldham’s business sector is made up of a whole range of sectors including: advanced manufacturing, construction, digital/creative and financial services.
Oldham has several convenient transportation links on hand, including a motorway and metro link. These links connect Oldham to both Manchester and the rest of the country, giving its residents a healthy balance between rural life and city living. After all, variety is the spice of life.
Not only has Oldham’s transportation system received a much-needed facelift in recent years, but the town has benefited from investment in other areas too. With improvements made to its housing and educational facilities, Oldham continues to build upon its inclination for innovation by acting as a central hub for students and academics alike. Now completed by a cutting-edge University Campus and Life Long Learning Centre, Oldham is a positive hotbed for those looking to pursue higher education.
Home to national treasure Peter Kay and wielding an industrious history to rival any other town in the UK, Bolton is one of the North West’s dynamic towns. Throughout the duration of the industrial revolution, Bolton’s importance was underpinned by its contribution to the cotton industry. However, just like many towns in the UK, Bolton experienced the full brunt of the recession in 2008.
Shops closed, high streets became deserted and Bolton looked like it was on the fast track to economic ruin. Now, thanks to external investment, this once industrious town is part of a hugely ambitious plan to restore its former glory. Set to receive over £1 billion of investment from both public and private sectors, Bolton is set for massive development. With 1,800 new homes, 7,400 new jobs and an economic activity worth of £412 million, Bolton is about to experience unprecedented change.
When considering the regeneration of Greater Manchester as a whole, Bolton is often thought to be at the very forefront of the effort. With its town centre alone seeing £260m of investment, Bolton is bracing itself for substantial change. With its sights firmly on the horizon, Bolton plans to spend an additional £100m on projects in the near future, securing Bolton’s reputation as one of Greater Manchester’s most rapidly developing places.
A county that encountered great prosperity during the industrial revolution, Lancashire has a long history of producing skilled tradesmen and women. Spanning as far west as Blackpool, this industrious county spans 3,075 km and contains over 19 towns and 4 different cities.
A large town that sits north of the west Pennine Moors, Blackburn has been famed for its championing of the textile industry. For those of you who haven’t already ‘cottoned on’, the North West’s involvement with the textile industry played a large part in boosting the region’s national significance throughout the 19th century.
Also part of the North West’s green belt, Blackburn maintains its agricultural and traditional heritage, resisting the widespread development common across the rest of the country.
Named by Lendinvest as one of the top areas for high rental yield, Blackburn experienced an average yield of 5.69% throughout 2016. With typical house prices being around £95,000, Blackburn can be is extremely affordable. This, when combined with the fact that Blackburn is only an hour away from both Liverpool and Manchester, makes the town ideal for young families and young professionals looking to work in a city. With the local M65 linking directly to the M6, M61 and M66, the region’s airports, towns and other tourist hotspots are but a stone’s throw away.
Preston is the celebrated home to the world’s first ever motorway, the M6. Bear with us, it’s more exciting than it sounds. Whilst this may sound trivial, this revolutionary introduction was a ‘driving’ factor to the North West’s integration with the rest of the country.
Not the only string to its bow, Preston has many accolades which have contributed to its reputation of being a prime property hotspot. For starters, Preston is the proud mainstay of the UCLAN University, an academic institution home to over 30,000 students. Being well connected across the North West and only a 40-minute ride away from the UK’s second biggest city, Preston is an exceptionally attractive setting for commuters from around the country.
The third largest city in the North West, Preston has secured £435m worth of investment to expand its transport infrastructure and facilitate the introduction of 17,420 new homes. An additional £50m has been promised to the Market Quarter area to make room for a new cinema, retail unit and restaurant/car park. An affordable area that is on the cusp of a remarkable regeneration, Preston is an area on the up, and is showing no signs of stopping.
According to the Office for National Statistics Burnley offers the lowest average house prices at £78,000 on average. Not only this, but according to estate agents Countrywide, Burnley is currently the “flipping capital” of Britain.
With 1 in 10 houses bought being ‘flipped’, the Lancashire township is experiencing a deluge of interest from investors from the south, looking to make improvements to properties before selling them on and or rent out. Now, thanks to the reopening a train link, Burnley is even more of a commodity to the working professional.
Able to connect the town directly to Manchester’s Victoria station, business will be more prevalent. This, when considered alongside the area’s relatively low housing prices, Burnley is an extremely attractive commodity to young first-time buyers.
To the south of Greater Manchester, Cheshire is a beautiful county that features scenic countryside, picturesque market towns and villages.
Stretching to an area of over 2,300 sq km in its entirety, Cheshire sits comfortably between Manchester and Liverpool - two of the UK’s biggest cities.
Home to the fabled ‘golden triangle’, Cheshire is populated by a collection of luxury eateries, mansions and multi-millionaires. They have to live somewhere after all.
Despite the relative maturity of the county and it's residents, the scope for property investment remains high with many city dwellers settling in the market towns, with excellent schools and easy access to the M6 and M56 corridors.
Home to a plethora of sports stars, celebrities, entrepreneurs and captains of industry, the market town of Wilmslow and neighbouring Alderley Edge form part of what's locally known as 'The Golden Triangle'.
It's no surprise that these locations are among the most desirable in the North West, with prices in Alderley Edge tipping a jaw dropping in at an average of £1.9m. The House Crowd has also been active in producing high spec developments in these areas, offering investors typical returns of 10% p.a.No 10. Alderley Edge
One of House Crowds most prestigious developments, No. 10 Alderley Edge offers incredible views across the Cheshire Plain and rolling Welsh hills. The epitome of 5-star luxury-living, our No 10 Alderley Edge is situated in the heart of the local conversation area, and a two-minute walk to the centre of the village.Bollin Heights
A secured, gated development located in Wilmslow, Bollin Heights is placed conveniently between the local train station and the town’s local amenities. A 15-minute train journey from Manchester, and less than 2 hours door to door to Euston station, ideal for professionals who need to commute.
Located by the side of the river Mersey, Warrington was initially a community made up of travellers and tradesmen. Becoming home to a variety different crafts during the industrial revolution, Warrington continued grow in popularity. In the 1960s/70s the town of Warrington was redefined as a ‘new town’ (despite it being around since Roman times!) and has since come to embrace development and growth. With a population of around 200,000 Warrington is an economic powerhouse and has been named as having one of the strongest performing economies in the region. It also has the highest GVA in the North of England with an average of £49,400.
One of Warrington’s many claims to fame is that it saw the introduction of the UK’s first ever IKEA. Chosen by the flat-packing, meatball toting furniture venders for its potential for regeneration and growth, Warrington has seen considerable expansion and growth ever since.
A town that’s revelling in its own potential for capital growth, Warrington’s positioning and affordability pay a huge part in its recent popularity with investors. Right in the heart of the North West, Warrington’s transport links put it in exceptionally good stead for those looking for access in and around the country. Nuzzled in between both Manchester and Liverpool, the town offers serious scope for working professionals looking to commute in a more metropolitan environment.
Close to junction 16 of the M6, the North West town of Crewe is home to some of the country’s largest employers, including Bentley, Bombardier Transportation and Bargain Booze. Not content with limiting itself to a selection of internationally renowned enterprises, Crewe has now set its sights set on the new HS2 high-speed railway.
With the HS2 ‘on track’ to be introduced in the next few decades, Crewe is currently preparing itself for its inclusion along the railway’s route. According to the Crewe Chronicle (2016) most current investors see the HS2 as a hugely positive addition to the town and expect to see housing prices steadily increase on the run up to the HS2’s launch. This £5 billion railway station is set to provide greater transportation links to the rest of country, all the while acting as an attractive incentive to the rest of the nation’s professional work force.
With such great access to the North and South of the country, fantastic employment potential and heaps of redevelopment currently underway, Crewe is setting itself apart as one of the North West’s shining stars.
Additional investment to the area will see Crewe’s Royal Arcade bulldozed and, in its place, a new cutting-edge leisure and retail centre, scheduled to be completed by Christmas 2020. Featured inside of this new multiplex will be an eight-screen cinema, gym, restaurants and 450-space multi-storey car park.