We ask the estate agents what is happening in Manchester and the results are alarming for those who want to live here

City centre living is fast becoming the norm, with Manchester’s population growing year on year.

New bars, restaurants, gyms and shops are seemingly opening on a daily basis, drawing thousands more people into the city centre than ever before.

But rising prices, competition for rooms and limited supply, finding a place to rent is becoming a nightmare for Manchester residents who want to live in the city centre.

During a look at the Manchester rental market, some estate agents claimed there are over 2,000 potential tenants to just 130 properties – a ratio of 15 prospective tenants for every home available to rent.

But what is the state of the market? Just what kinds of properties are on offer? How long does it take to find a place to live?

We discovered:

  • It is increasingly difficult for renters to find the perfect property, with up to ten enquiries for every city centre flat.
  • Each apartment to rent is receiving 3 or 4 offers
  • Some properties are let after just ONE hour
  • Prices are rising by up to £75 a month in some city centre hot spots.

Properties let after one hour

Amid increasing interest in the market, with thousands of people registered with some estate agents but only a handful of properties available, it’s becoming increasingly competitive.

Ben Garland, manager at Jordan Fishwick, says: “The market has definitely become busier and we have noticed that Manchester is becoming increasingly popular with clients from all corners of the globe.

“Generally we receive between 5 and 10 enquiries per property then receive 3 or 4 offers on each of our properties on average.”

Andrew Seldon, managing director at Thornley Groves, advises prospective tenants to act quickly, “To rent they have to close on the day, as we would have around 4 or 5 people to view the property on the day.”

James Favas from Purplebricks even went as far as to say: “I have dealt with properties before in the city which have been on the market for only 1 hour and been let.”

Are we running out of rental homes?

However, all this renewed interest in the city centre is not all positive news for high street estate agents, as the difficult thing is to find enough homes for to placate the interest.

Demand is seemingly outstripping supply.

Andrew said: ” We haven’t got any big problems, out major concern ts that we just don’t have enough stock. If we had more stock, we would sell more properties.”

James echoed these views: “Due to the variety of the people from all over the world that the city attracts, I’d say tenants outnumber the available stock.”

A significant effect of this lack of supply has been the cost of living. Rents and house prices have increased exponentially up and down the country over the last five to ten years.

Prices rising by £75 a month

The M.E.N reported in 2015 that rents across the whole of Greater Manchester had risen by over 20 per cent in just 12 months last year.

And this has been felt perhaps most acutely, in the city centre, with suggestion from some estate agents that rents have increased between 40 to 50 pc over the last five to ten years.

James said: “The market has changed massively in the last decade. Prices can range from anywhere between £750 – £2,500 a month. In terms of inflation, I would say the prices are going up around £50-£75 a month.”

So with limited supply and rising rents, according to some, there may be need for drastic action in the future.

Glynn Rudge, senior branch manager at Reeds Rains, said: “The old stories from 2005/2006 that Manchester was building more apartments than there was demand for is long, long forgotten.

“We can see that Manchester has a strong economy, helped with the relocation of the BBC and we are very positive about the future with the high speed rail links “shrinking” the distance to London.

“But the only way we can see Manchester City Centre being able to supply the apartments needed is for it to “grow” bigger, moving the city centre out towards those areas that were once considered on the periphery.”

Why are people choosing Manchester?

We spoke to a group of leading estate agents to find out more about city centre living, and what their concerns are over the market.

In as little much as a decade, Manchester’s face has been transformed, as the centerpiece in previous Chancellor’s plans for a Northern Powerhouse.

The city has seen a vast amount of investment in business, technology and sport, drawing new visitors and residents each year.

Andrew Seldon, managing director at Thornley Groves said: “I think it’s very similar to suburbs, in that it is a fashionable place to live, more than Birmingham, and there’s also that commercial presence too.

“They can go across the street to that cool coffee shop, or go shopping and they can walk to work instead of taking the tram.

“They like having those kinds of things to hand.”

Exceptional Universities

James Favas from Purplebricks, said: “To me, the reasons are obvious: Manchester city centre has three exceptional universities offering a wide range of courses which cater for people all over the world.

“Manchester has a fantastic vibe about it too, with some of the best restaurants, bars, local colleges, schools, football teams and jobs in the UK.”

Ben Garland, manager at Jordan Fishwick, agreed: “People like the idea of having a wealth of amenities on their doorstep and being able to walk to and from work and s s time progresses the standard of city centre apartments is gradually improving.

“A lot of the developments being completed these days include gyms, pools etc.”

Not just the super rich

It’s not just the super rich, looking for penthouses, pools and state of the art gyms, that are making the move inwards however.

According to the city’s experts, Manchester’s famous diversity is ever present in the types of people it attracts.

Glynn says: “There is a huge variety of tenant in Manchester that reflects the broad appeal from many economic and cultural backgrounds.

“Whether is is young professionals looking to enjoy the trappings of Manchester, business people looking for a week day home, mature students looking for a safe home that does not resemble the “typical student digs” that I remember – I have to say there is no typical anymore.”

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