Over the past two decades, Manchester has changed dramatically. It has gone from being a neglected industrial town to one of the UK’s most exciting cities, with new transport infrastructure, a revamped city centre and a booming local economy. Culturally, too, it has come on in leaps and bounds, becoming a major centre for the arts, entertainment and shopping. It’s now widely considered to be second only to London, and when you compare property prices you’ll see that it provides a lot more for each pound you spend. So if you are thinking of buying a home in the city, where do you start your search?
The best places to live
Mosley Common, Castlefield, Didsbury and Salford Quays have all been listed among the best places to live in Manchester – and in the UK – whilst Chorlton and the Heatons remain popular. What these areas have in common are good transport links, good facilities (such as cafés, shops and entertainment venues), good schools, low crime rates and lots of green space. Mosley Common is particularly popular with families who describe it as very safe and love its community spirit. Castlefield benefits from being on the waterfront, Didsbury has grown in popularity thanks to the extension of the Metrolink and the Salford Quays area is popular with people who love the thriving social scene.
All those areas are great if you’ve got money, but what if you’re looking for a bargain or a long term investment with potential for serious profit? Newton Heath is one area that’s on the up. Though limited transport options mean it’s better if you have a car, that could be set to change as its popularity increases, and prices there are rising fast. In a similar position, but with lower starting prices, is Wythenshawe, which is starting to change significantly thanks to the Metrolink. The area also benefits from its proximity to the airport.
Tips on choosing the right rental property
All of this is great for home buyers, but what if you’re renting? Harry Dhaliwal of the Belvoir lettings agency says that taking your time to look around and make the right decision is still important – after all, most tenants are looking for somewhere they can be comfortable and call home. Local knowledge is key when choosing a property, and you can check out Harry’s Facebook profile for more pointers. Local online forums are also a great place to get an insight into the character and community of the different neighbourhoods, to help you choose a home that’s going to be right for you.
Beyond that, the most important thing is to do a thorough inspection of any property you’re considering moving into, and to ensure that your lease offers you the right balance between security and flexibility in case your situation changes.
Whether you’re renting or buying, Manchester has a lot to offer and there’s never been a better time to move there. Get established now, before prices rise further, and you’ll be in an excellent position to benefit from the city’s cultural and economic boom.