Manchester building boom hits new heights

Aaron Morby 3 weeks ago
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Manchester is leading a regional city building boom driven by ambitious residential and commercial projects.

How Manchester's skyline could look in 2020

The latest Deloitte Crane Survey shows bumper growth for a second year in Manchester with 20 major residential projects and six major office schemes starting in 2017.

Sustained strong growth means Manchester is enjoying a 60% jump in residential and 75% hike in office projects now under construction with most major high rise schemes.

The 11,135 residential units currently being developed represents the third year of sustained growth in the city despite rising construction costs and uncertainty in the market as a result of Brexit negotiations.

Simon Bedford, partner at Deloitte Real Estate, said: “Manchester has firmly established itself as one of Europe’s fastest growing cities.

“Backed by significant investor confidence, a strong business community, and an influx of new talent, the demand for property, particularly in the residential market, has never been more evident.”

He added: “With the additional investment we are seeing from international markets such as South East Asia, Middle East, and the US, Manchester’s real estate market will continue to develop at scale, cementing the city’s position as a global destination for business, leisure, and education.”

The Crane Survey also reported strong growth in Birmingham and Leeds where developers’ confidence for city centre residential development remains strong.

Deloitte 2017 Crane Survey – No. projects
Residential Offices Student rooms Hotel Retail / Leisure Education Total
Manchester 20 5 0 5 1 1 32
Birmingham 13 4 3 2 1 1 24
Leeds 5 3 2 0 2 4 16
Residential units under construction Office space (sq ft) under construction
2016 2017 % change 2016 2017 % change
Manchester 6,963 11,135 60% 1,486,000 1,509,000 1.5%
Birmingham 2,331 4,077 75% 1,441,500 1,436,250 -0.4%
Leeds 619 1,586 156% 460,750 771,250 67%

Several significant Manchester schemes are likely to commence in 2018 including major residential developments as part of the St. John’s masterplan, residential blocks at Circle Square, further activity from Manchester Life Development Company in Ancoats and New Islington and work on Angel Meadow, which forms part of the  transformational Northern Gateway project.

Birmingham saw 24 major construction starts last year. This was again driven by the boom in city residential developments, up nearly a third to 13 schemes delivering 2,500 new units in 2018 alone.

Student housing schemes jumped to deliver a 53% rise in bedroom to 1,782 spaces. Birmingham’s office development has surpassed 1m sq ft for the second consecutive year, with over 1.4m sq ft currently under construction.

In Leeds residential construction across the city centre hit its highest level in a decade – 1,586 units across five development sites.

Leeds has also witnessed further growth in the higher education sector with four new starts recorded adding over 0.5msq ft into the development pipeline.

Leeds continues to deliver good volumes of new office space with three new construction starts in 2017.

Johnny Caddick, managing director at Moda and director at Caddick Group, said: “Today’s crane survey is a demonstration that the government’s ‘devolution revolution’ is paying dividends, with core cities such as Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Belfast seeing high levels of development across the board, but particularly in residential.

“In order to remain competitive, the regions will have to avoid the same housing pressures that London faces while also offering the same job opportunities, which as today’s figures show, they are more than capable of doing, which will aid student retention rates and in turn, long-term growth prospects.”

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