New developments in Manchester, such as the BBC’s “MediaCityUK” have been nothing less than a major boost to the Manchester property sector, according to one international specialist in business insurance.
The short video report, by QBE, explains that such developments are not only boosting trade and commerce in the city, as professionals and other workers migrate to Manchester, but are also increasing the possibility for greater rent yields and encouraging further investment in the Manchester property market.
MediaCityUK has been built on land that was formerly the property of the Port of Manchester, at Salford Quays on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal. After the BBC announced it was moving a large part of its production and workforce to Manchester in 2004, it took two years to choose the site, announcing its location in the Salford/Trafford area in 2006. Planning permission to develop the site was granted the next year and development began.
Nowadays, MediaCityUK has its own energy plant and communications network, and is centred around Quay House.
The directors of a leading financial advice company have said that the Manchester property market is on the road to recovery – although the process may be a slow one.
This week, bosses at Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) gave their predictions for the housing market up until 2017, during an industry seminar being held in the city attended by leading Manchester property companies and bankers.
The directors began their predictions with the claim that Manchester property would see a particularly slow recovery at the start of this year, due to the national housing situation, which sees mortgage lenders continuing to behave with excessive caution, and thus having a chilling effect on house prices. When prices do increase, they added, they will not be scaling the dizzying heights they were before the credit crunch and subsequent recession of 2008.
Looking to the positive, however, the directors were certain that the Manchester property sector would outperform the rest of the North West in 2012, and overall prices would be up 7 per cent by 2016.
Other factors which would assist the recovery of the Manchester property sector would be the increased confidence which would stem from the eventual stabilising of the euro, along with a fall in inflation and interest rates and rising employment levels.
Given the inevitable recovery of the market, as demand increases and begins to outstrip supply, potential investors in Manchester property can rest assured that there is plenty of potential in the city – unsurprising when one considers the wealth of fantastic buildings in the historic city.
The Manchester property market may be set to get a boost, it emerged this week. Council bosses have announced plans to help first-time buyers with a so-called “Manchester mortgage,” using £25 million currently lying dormant in the Greater Manchester Pension Fund to build new affordable homes.
Manchester City Council has flagged five sites under its jurisdiction in Chorlton, Wythenshawe and Gorton, where it plans to build around 250 new homes for the Manchester property pool. The homes will be available for sale and rent. The plans represent a pilot scheme, with the pension fund paying for the cost of building the homes. If the scheme is a success, the council plans to widen it over the next decade.
The scheme also contains a mortgage-guarantee element, aimed at helping people in the city move on to the property ladder. The “Manchester mortgage” will underwrite up to a fifth of the home loan, thus making them more affordable – especially for first-time buyers. The mortgages will hopefully be administered by the Co-operative Bank and the Manchester Building Society – talks are currently taking place between representatives of the lenders and council officials.
Under the innovative mortgage scheme, borrowers would be able to take out a 95 per cent loan-to-value (LTV) mortgage at the same price as a standard 75 per cent LTV loan, thus minimising the need for hefty deposits.
The local authority's executive member for neighbourhood services, Councillor Paul Andrews, told the Manchester Evening News that the plan had been conceived because housing stock has fallen to an all-time low in the Manchester property sector, mainly due to a lack of building projects – since 2007, house completions have plunged by over 75 per cent, he pointed out.
"In the current economic climate, the levels of development being brought forward and the availability of mortgage finance are not keeping pace with the city’s needs," Cllr Andrews added.
“That’s why the council, working with Greater Manchester Pension Fund and the Homes and Communities Agency, is looking to bring forward an innovative new model for investing in new housing which will help address this issue."
The Manchester property sector has many impressive buildings to boast of and the city itself is an impressive sight, combining the grandeur of the industrial age with the thrusting glamour of the 21st century. One of the most visible aspects of this is the tall buildings of Manchester. Property developers tend to like having at least a couple of flagship tall buildings in their portfolio, and here we look at the ten tallest buildings in the city, both business and residential:
- Beetham Tower. Completed in 2006 and soaring to 168 metres, this city centre building is the tallest in the UK outside London and the eighth tallest in the country. It is a mixed residential and commercial building, combining apartments, bars and a Hilton hotel.
- CIS Tower. Completed in 1962, this office building (the initials stand for Co-operative Insurance Tower) stands at 118 metres and is the tallest office building outside London. It is now covered with solar cells, following extensive renovation in 2004.
- City Tower. Formerly known as the Sunley Building, this office and retail building rises to 107 metres and boasts the highest office space that is currently available in the city. It was completed in 1965 and is one of Manchester's premier radio broadcasting sites, hosting the antennas for Capital FM, Rock Radio, XFM, BBC Digital One, CE Manchester and MXR North West.
- Arndale House. Finished in 1979, Arndale House is 90 metres high and is an office complex, forming part of the Arndale Centre.
- Portland Tower. This 80 metres high, brutalist high-rise is named after its location on Portland Street. It is an office building and was one of the first high-rise buildings to be constructed in the UK upon its completion in 1962.
- Civil Justice Centre. This striking looking building – nicknamed “the filing cabinet”, houses Manchester's civil courts and associated offices. At 80 metres high, it is currently the joint sixth tallest building in the City Centre.
- 3 Hardman Street. This 16-storey high-rise tower is 75 metres high and is the sixth tallest Manchester building. It was completed in February 2009 and is a mixture of office and retail space.
- Great Northern Tower. Standing at 72 metres in height, this is one of Manchester's tallest residential developments, with a sloping profile encompassing 10 or 25 storeys. It was completed in late 2006.
- Jefferson Place. This is another residential high-rise, coming in at 70 metres high. Building was completed in 2007.
- The Light House. With building finished in 2008, this is one of Manchester's most recent high-rises, and it stands 67 metres high. It is a mixed residential and office block.