Source: Manchester Evening News
Manchester’s property sector is thriving. Development is back and investments continue to grow.
Property activity is consistent with the region’s focused strategies in areas such as infrastructure, science, hotels and leisure, digital and manufacturing, which are attracting strong local and foreign investment.
The North West industrial market has seen a resurgence over the past 12 months with yields hardening to pre-recession levels, according to data supplied by IPD/MSCI Real Estate.
With tourism continuing to boom, hotel bosses are looking to open more venues during 2015.
Around 800 new hotel rooms will be built in Manchester this year to add to Manchester’s already thriving hotels sector, including everything from plush five-star venues to budget sites offering a cheap place to lay your head for the night.
Owned by former Manchester United stars Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville, this 133 room hotel is set to open in March 2015 and aims to provide the ultimate fan experience. Overlooking Old Trafford, the hotel will also feature a five-star roof top football pitch, known as ‘Heaven’, situated on the 12th floor of the hotel.
Bespoke Hotels is currently developing the high-end, 5* boutique, Hotel Gotham. The spectacular hotel is planned to open in April 2015. Located in one of the city’s most spectacular, listed buildings, the former Midland Bank at 100 King Street is an art deco masterpiece.
King Street Townhouse
Due to open in the summer 2015 is the intimate King Street Towhouse. The fifth venue in Eclectic Hotels’ portfolio of luxury townhouse hotels and members’ lounges in Greater Manchester, the former bank and grade ii listed building will offer a luxurious and unique experience to its guests.
Corn Exchange development
Grade II listed building and former shopping centre, the Corn Exchange is currently undergoing a £30 million redevelopment to transform the space in to a culinary haven due to re-open June 2015. Twelve restaurants have already been confirmed as tenants, with a couple of units still up for grabs.
HOME, the new home for the company formed by the merger of Manchester’s Library Theatre Company and Cornerhouse, will open as a new multi-art form venue on 21 May 2015 in the city centre. The £25 million development will include a 500-seat theatre and a 150-seat flexible studio space. It will collaborate and co-produce with international partners. It will also have a 500m², 4m high gallery space; five cinema screens; digital production and broadcast facilities; a café bar and restaurants.
What the investors are saying about Manchester.
Daniel Plummer, head of offices at F&C REIT Asset Management, said: “At the minute I think we’re at the relatively early stages of rental growth in Manchester. We’ve seen some good lettings. We would buy again in Manchester without a doubt. People investing in Manchester have all sorts of drivers. At the end of the day Manchester is a vibrant city with good occupiers. It’s all about the end users for investors. I always thought property investment was about growth.”
David Hidderley, property investment fund surveyor at NFU Mutual, said: “We’re a £1.8bn property investment fund. We’re very much seen as long-term investors. We’ve been looking at Manchester for a while. We have come in and come out and did make an entrance last year with Chancery Place, which we bought for £57m. Manchester has a track record in terms of the occupational market. One of the keys things from the loan to risk profile is the liquidity. Manchester does offer an alternative to London. Manchester is at the forefront. They’re clearly the number one relocation city at the moment.”
Chris Pearse is the head of business space at Legal & General Property and said the city’s improving transport infrastructure was a pull attraction for investors. “Manchester is becoming more of a hub and then you have the international airport so you can see why international businesses want to be there,” he said. “Lots of people have heard of Manchester. Either because of the football clubs or possibly because of Manchester itself. Occupiers want to be there because of the demographics around Manchester. If Manchester really holds on to its student population then there’s a real reason to be there as occupiers as well.”
Fellow Addleshaw Goddard partner Michael O’Connor said Manchester’s growth was good for the region. “The city provides the growth, not us,” he said. “We feed off the back of that growth and we can encourage it. If we want to create work for the firm in Manchester we’ve got to support what goes on in the city region. The city is probably better than other cities in the UK – other than London – in describing what it’s about. If I look at colleagues in Leeds they look really jealously across the Pennines.”
Harry Humble, director of Hunter Real Estate Investment Managers, said: “The funding behind the purchase of Exchange Quay in Salford Quay is a Canadian sovereign wealth fund so it’s overseas money coming into Manchester. We’ve got a national remit. Manchester has been a good experience for us. The local authority has been very helpful. There’s clearly a lot of demand for the real estate we’re buying and that’s really encouraging.”
Development is again very visible, and it sits alongside an improving investment market.