Looking for the right location? Head to Manchester


The buy-to-let business has definitely got harder. But – and this may appear controversial – before recent Government changes, it was perhaps a little too easy. With few barriers and high returns, the sector was attractive to some people who didn’t have the skills, the attitude or the responsible approach that being a landlord demands. Now making money through property is more of a challenge, investors have to take it seriously. Like it or not, we’re moving to a more professional approach to portfolios and their management.

And the good news is that if you are prepared to do your homework, making good returns is still very possible. Regular surveys are published which show the locations around the country that are bucking the trends – the shining stars and those places where the returns are not what they once were. This information should always be evaluated in the light of the investor’s ambitions. Is capital growth or rental yield a priority? What are returns like when compared to other investment opportunities? What’s the duration of the investment?

Top of the list

The most recent surveys name Manchester as a real hotspot for property investment. Anyone who knows the city, or who has visited in recent years, will be well aware of the building boom that’s in progress. The concept of the Northern Powerhouse and the influence of a directly elected Mayor are important factors driving growth. There’s international interest too, with China’s Juwai portal showing that enquiries about the city’s opportunities are up over 250 percent on 2017 levels.

In Manchester, monthly rents might not reach the heights of London, but the rental yields are better and averaging 5.5%. In a city where average property prices remain far below those in the capital, barriers to entry are lower and prospects for capital growth are looking good.  The city’s population is growing and demand for property is high.  LendInvest data suggests that those who invest in Manchester property could see returns a whopping 67 percent higher than they could achieve in London.

As always, do your homework –  some postcodes are shining more brightly than others – and think about your market. But if you’re looking to build or grow a portfolio, then Manchester may just be the place. See you there?