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Insight & Opinion

Investors increasingly turn to the north-west

Author: Gemma

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As the price of property in London has soared higher and higher in recent years and started to plateau somewhat in 2014, more investors are now turning away from the capital and towards regional areas, with some such as the north-west of England starting to thrive as demand rises.

According to a recent study from Colliers International, the north-west is now welcoming a greater share of investors’ money than it ever has before. The company said that in 2014 so far, the UK has seen investment levels that exceed last year, predicted to hit £60 billion by the end of the year.

However, among this, only one area outside of London, the north-west, has seen investment levels that already beat last year’s final totals with more than a month to go. Until mid-November this year, the money spent on property in the north-west hit £2.3 billion, already exceeding what was a strong 2013, when investment struck £1.8 billion overall.

According to Lambert Smith Hampton, this has largely been contributed to by commercial property. Since the BBC brought its operation to Salford in the last couple of years, there has been a real growth in companies moving north, which has seen demand rise.

In 2014 so far, the report from the company said that the amount of money spent on commercial property in the north-west has increased by some 131 per cent.

It’s a similar story when it comes to residential property, which has seen a strong rise in investment levels thanks to some of the fantastic deals that are available to investors.

One such example can be seen at 90 Princess Street in Manchester, where investors with Experience Invest can get themselves high-yielding buy-to-let property with a low entry level, providing a strong return. Investors are able to get a fully-furnished and managed property that brings them a passive return of 7.5 per cent guaranteed for three years.

What makes 90 Princess Street and many other investment opportunities in Manchester such popular options is the city itself. With one of the best transport infrastructures in the whole of the country, with three train stations, an impressive tram network and some of the busiest bus services in Europe, it’s the ideal place for people to live and do business, which makes it perfect for investment.

Simon Allport, one of Ernst & Young’s senior partners in the north-west, said: “While manufacturing remains prominent, making up over a third of FDI last year, the city is emerging as a centre of excellence for high-growth industries, such as digital and creative, and knowledge-led sectors such as life sciences,” which plays into the hands of both residential and commercial investors.

Similarly, the leader of Manchester’s City Council, Sir Richard Leese, said that the four world class universities in the city, as well as 22 other universities in the wider catchment area of Manchester make it a fantastic place for investment, thanks to it having one of the densest concentrations of students in the whole of the continent.

With 2014’s figures set to far exceed those that were seen in 2013, and seemingly no end in sight for investment in the north-west, it seems that the region can only go from strength to strength in the months and years to come.

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