Manchester: The property market’s Iron Man


With six city skyscraper apartment blocks winning planning permission or taking a step closer to development within one week, Manchester has got more than one reason to celebrate.

RBS/NatWest who are backing several Manchester residential developments – and they plan to fund more – explain that regardless of any risk of economic instability following the Brexit vote, the market is still strong.

The new schemes approved in the last week include Salford council’s approval for a 35-storey tower and a 17-storey tower at New Bailey Street developed by Trinity Riverside Holdings and a 68-storey tower at Owen Street proposed by Renaker. The landmark development will comprise 1,508 apartments and penthouses in four blocks of 39, 46, 52 and 66 storeys, the MEN reported.

CGI of The New Bailey Two

On top of that, a few smaller schemes have also been announced. Beech Holdings has bought the 24,000 sq ft Salisbury House, which – after being abandoned for five years – will now be turned into 90 apartments.

Housing Manchester – The Challenge for a Growing City in the 21st Century, was an event at the Hilton and was attended by more than 200 property experts from across the region.

Host Heath Thomas, of NatWest, said:

There’s quite a big pipeline of apartment schemes with planning permission, many of them for the private rented market, but it’s been slow seeing those schemes break ground.

“We’ve done research into demand and rents and it would be unusual for all of those schemes to come forward.

“So far only a handful have started on site, and on their own will not satisfy demand for rental apartments.”

Thomas doesn’t see any significant risks for Manchester’s housing market posed by the Brexit vote.

He said:

We’re still only two weeks from the vote, and this is the time to assess and reflect.

“I guess consumer confidence will affect demand for mortgages, but the fundamentals in the city’s residential market are remain sound because there is a structural shortage of homes in the UK.

“If there is a pause in the build-to-sell market this could be good for the rental market, because people may rent rather than buy.”

Marnix Elsenaar, partner at law firm Addleshaw Goddard, also spoke during the event and said:

Manchester has all of the ingredients it needs to take forward housing delivery, under the auspices of the new combined authority’s powers. But it will need to fight with central government to be able to deliver the right housing products for Manchester.

“Policies such as Starter Homes are not necessarily helpful and will provide an unnecessary constraint on Manchester’s ability to deliver what its population needs.

“Another part of this is the burgeoning build to rent sector, which is flourishing in the city. It is important to ensure central government policies don’t kill off this growing sector.

“The stamp duty surcharge for institutional investors and required financial contribution to starter homes will hit viability.”

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Manchester: The property market’s Iron Man

Manchester: The property market’s Iron Man


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