An impressive 68% of property investment professionals think Manchester is the best city in the Northern Powerhouse to invest in, as recent research from Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) revealed.
The study was part of LSH’s 2016 Northern Powerhouse Office Market Report and asked property developers and investors across the country for their thoughts on the region.
For those who identified Manchester as the best place to invest reasons were plenty; from the wide variety of businesses and huge talent pool to its favourable transport links.
At the same time, however, a bit over one quarter of professionals said that they were impressed with the Northern Powerhouse and its growth potential but were unsure whether the region could ever rival London’s potential.
Matthew Scrimshaw, Head of the North Region at Lambert Smith Hampton, said: “For the Northern Powerhouse to thrive and succeed in the long-term, we still believe that the government’s money should be spent on Northern Powerhouse Rail (HS3). By focussing on connectivity within the region, rather than connecting northern powerhouse cities to the capital, it will prevent the most talented employees from being lost to London, while stimulating our regional economy further.”
The increasing investment interest in Manchester was also reflected in its office accommodation take-up figures. “Of the 941,000 sq ft of new office space which is expected to complete by Q3 2017, 34 per cent of it is already committed and the remaining stock is expected to be absorbed over the next 12 months, if not sooner,” LSH revealed.
Due to the high demand of Mancunian Grade A office space, the report forecast a 6% increase in prime headline rents in the city centre.
Furthermore, the research identified Salford as one of the bigger, if not the biggest, coworking hub in the Northern Powerhouse, naming the growing popularity of its Tomorrow Building and Greenhouse side as the main reasons.
Abid Jaffry, head of northern capital markets for Lambert Smith Hampton commented on the research results: “Since the recent referendum we have seen, rather unsurprisingly, that institutional investment has dropped off, but the baton has very much been picked up by overseas investors. They have been acquiring across the Northern Powerhouse and continue to do so.”
“Overseas investment has not just been directed at the prime end of the market but at a diverse range of opportunities from asset management to defensive plays.”
“Manchester remains a key driving force with the larger lot sizes but large scale buys in key cities such as Newcastle and Sheffield are becoming much more commonplace and demonstrate a broadening of appeal in the Northern Powerhouse“