Manchester is expected to prosper in the coming year as the Brexit process shakes-up the economy.
Manchester’s property market is heading for a “feel good” 2017.

So say the developers behind a clutch of city schemes, who say the UK’s second city will prosper in the coming year as the Brexit process shakes-up the economy.

Adam Higgins, director at Capital & Centric said: “Despite events of 2016, Manchester feels good at the moment. It feels like we’ve collectively created a city and culture that can weather a storm.

“Although to be honest, we have quite liked the uncertainty and disruption that Brexit has created as it’s mixed things up a bit and on the back of this we’re committing to build out nearly 1m sq ft of development in the city this year, it has definitely created opportunities.”

Higgins says Manchester’s tech and creative sector will lead the market in the next twelve months. “We’re finding demand is getting stronger for this sector and expect values to continue to rise in 2017 and our view is that creating the space to allow these independents to flourish will keep Manchester ahead of its rivals and create a more balanced but vibrant economy, in turn feeding the city’s cultural identity that is so important to Manchester’s success.”

However, brokers agree that an uncertain market comes with risks. Dan Crossley, Partner at WHR says: “After such an unexpected final half to 2016, there are no obvious or likely paths for 2017.”

Crossley nonetheless expects Manchester property to remain popular with buyers.

“I expect that we may see strong pricing maintained over the coming year, as investors and asset managers enthusiastically consider a wide range of income opportunities that provide a potential return that is far beyond a deposit rate alternative.”

Meanwhile Chris Cheap, senior director and head of north west offices at property consultancy GVA, said he expected the downturn in demand in the final two quarters of 2016 in the central Manchester office market will likely to continue into 2017.

“But this will be steady rather than dramatic and will be a net result of continued makro economic and political uncertainty,” said Chris.

“We do not anticipate significant downward pressure on rental levels though as the supply dynamic does not outweigh demand event at reduced levels.”

Chris also anticipates that the decentralised office market will continue to be about clustering in 2017 as businesses gravitate towards the ‘eco systems’ such as MediaCityUK, Airport City and Alderley Park.

He continues: “The investment market will continue to be driven by overseas investors seeking the value that a weak pound provides. This will underpin the prime market place especially.

“The industrial market will continue to be strong in 2017 especially for ‘big sheds’ but a lack of stock is major issue. With 50 per cent of major deals being on a ‘design and build’ basis in 2016 it is anticipated that this number will increase next year.”

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