In June 2023 we sponsored Material Source’s Property Outlook seminar at their Manchester studio. Led by Material Source’s David Smalley and with a panel of 3 property experts, the seminar took a deep dive into the good, the bad, and the future of property in Manchester.
A recently-released report highlighted Manchester as a top 5 growth city in the majority of the sector spotlights, from office and retail to hospitality and housing. With this in mind, Material Source’s Property Outlook seminar could not have come at a better time.
Hosted by David Smalley, June’s seminar welcomed three property experts to discuss the good, the bad, and the future of property in Manchester: Nicola Rigby, Principal at Avison Young UK; Ashley Perry MRICS, Investment Director at Apache Capital; and Tim Smith, Vice President of Development at EQ Group.
MSS Presents: Property Outlook Seminar
Manchester is one of the UK's most vibrant cities, and its property market is constantly evolving. With its rich history, cultural diversity, and booming economy, the city presents a range of opportunities and challenges for investors and developers. Recent years have seen a significant increase in demand for both commercial and residential property. The city’s strong economy is primarily driven by the business community, but it also has leisure-based tourism from football, retail and concerts, attracting investors and creating a robust rental market. According to the panel, the key to Manchester's growth lies in the city’s infrastructure. Not only is Manchester compact enough to easily walk around, it also has a great tram system and is a well-connected city that’s easily accessible by rail, car, and plane. This opens up a whole host of opportunities for diverse property investment - it’s not just offices or just housing. Manchester has it all.
Manchester’s rich history offers a really interesting challenge for the city’s architects and designers to provide what the city and its residents need in a sustainable way. The panellists predict that there will be a significant change in commercial spaces, and it will be important to redevelop existing spaces to avoid demolishing assets whilst also keeping footfall in the city centre.
No matter the industry, it’s crucial to create spaces with character that people actually want to work from. Whilst we know we can work from home, with its face-to-face interaction and connection with colleagues, office working has a myriad of benefits, especially when it comes to younger workers as it can be instrumental in developing soft skills. Hotels are also seeing the benefits of re-designing and re-purposing existing spaces to meet the needs of their guests, including adding in workspaces and improving bland meeting rooms.
But despite the positive market conditions, Manchester faces challenges in terms of housing affordability and supply, and developers must find innovative solutions to bridge the gap between supply and demand. Housing in all of its forms, from BTR to affordable housing to student accommodation, is the big investment opportunity when it comes to Manchester, and satellite towns around the city offer great opportunities for the hospitality and hotel world. Investment in Manchester is showing no signs of slowing, and its future lies in its commitment to regeneration and sustainable development.
Located in Manchester’s historic Hanover Building, Material Source Studio offers architects and designers in the North West the opportunity to immerse themselves in ‘beautifully useful’ products and materials, and we are proud to be one of the founding partners. Visitors to the Studio can enjoy barista-quality coffee “on tap” from one of the three TopBrewers that have been seamlessly integrated into the space.
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