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Manchester named UK’s leading growth city across multiple sectors in CBRE’s latest research report ‘Which City? Which Sector? Real estate prospects over the next decade’

Manchester takes the top spot as the UK’s leading growth city across multiple sectors according to CBRE’s latest research report ‘Which City? Which Sector? Real estate prospects over the next decade’ Which City? Which Sector? | CBRE UK  The city was ranked first in offices, urban logistics and self storage, student accommodation, multi family housing, single family housing and was second only to Oxford and Cambridge in life sciences.

CBRE examined the growth prospects for a range of real estate sectors across the 50 largest regional towns and cities in the UK.  Findings were informed by economic drivers (including GDP, employment and income growth), demographic trends and property market data such as supply pipeline, local universities and housing affordability. The top 10 performing cities and growth sectors were identified.

John Ogden, Managing Director – North at CBRE said; “When identifying key growth markets for office real estate, economic and demographic factors are fundamental.  Manchester features top in CBRE’s rankings, partly because it is expected to benefit from the strongest GDP growth. The size of the talent pool is another key factor used when forecasting office demand and Manchester is ranked first for growth in working age population and office employment.”

Supply factors are also key when considering a market’s ability to support future demand.  In the flight to quality office space, CBRE expects pre-letting of development space to continue. 29% of space under construction is already pre-let or under offer in eight of the top ten markets where CBRE tracks pipeline data.

Manchester was also ranked first ahead of Nottingham and Edinburgh in the purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) sector.

Ogden continues; “The success of the UK PBSA sector is intricately linked to the demand for higher education, so it is easy to see how Manchester would rise to the top spot as home to The University of Manchester which is the largest and most applied to university in the UK. The UK PBSA sector is characterised by an imbalance in demand supply and we anticipate this imbalance will remain a feature of the sector as demand for PBSA continues to outstrip the pace of development.”

The Multi-family Housing (MFH) sector has seen rapid growth over the last decade.  Also referred to as Build-to-Rent (BtR) in the UK, there are currently more than 242,000 BtR homes either complete, under construction or in planning.

Tom Sinclair, Senior Director of Investment Properties at CBRE, commented; “Manchester’s strong rental and economic fundamentals place it in top spot and the city is ranked as the top potential growth city for MFH in 2030, forecast to see 6% growth.  Manchester already has the largest proportion of households (29%) in the private rented sector (PRS) sector which is set to continue due to the strong expected population growth over the next decade.”

CBRE’s top growth cities for Single Family Housing (SFH) were based on forecasts for economic growth, family population and rental affordability.

Sinclair continues; “Again Manchester leads the way followed by Birmingham and Bristol in this sector, which is still in its infancy in the UK relative to other residential investment markets.  Cities with a strong economic forecast that will bring new investment, new jobs and more housing demand perform well in CBRE’s rankings.  Manchester and Reading rank first in employment, with Manchester forecasted to see 5.9% growth.”

With ongoing growth in online shopping a major driver in the demand for urban logistics space, CBRE identified locations with a high online penetration percentage, access to high-speed internet and a forecasted growth in population by age groups with online spend propensity.  Manchester was ranked number one, ahead of Bristol and Sheffield, with 10.63% growth of 34-49 year olds. Labour availability for future urban logistics facilities was considered with Manchester having large available labour pools which future logistics occupiers could access. Additionally, urbanisation and lifestyle changes are driving self storage demand particularly in cities which are forecast to experience strong GDP and disposable income growth such as Manchester.

Manchester was ranked third in the life sciences sector with Cambridge and Oxford claiming first and second spots respectively.  London, Oxford and Cambridge are widely acknowledged as the traditional epicentres of the UK life sciences sector and have continually evolved.  Despite already being established as hubs for innovation, the future trajectory of both Oxford and Cambridge remains strong.   Manchester has circa 2million square foot of lab space coming online by the end of the decade making it the regional centre of excellence.

John Ogden, MD CBRE North said:

“To see Manchester outperform the other regional centres in these six key sectors is a coup for the city and demonstrates the strength and resilience of the North West property market. Crucial research such as this enables us to identify trends and forecast with certainty for our diverse client base and as a business we continue to thrive in this vibrant and forward-thinking growth city.”

Jennet Siebrits, UK Head of Research at CBRE said;

“Manchester and Bristol are the clear standouts for growth across 10 out of 12 real estate sectors we analysed with Birmingham also performing strongly and is a market to watch.  The way towns and cities evolve is mirrored in their local economies, natural resources and cultural history and as a result no two UK cities are the same and subsequently different real estate sectors thrive in different locations.  Manchester is supported by its diverse industry base, thriving retail, tourism and hospitality sectors, strong demographic, economic fundamentals and boasts one of Europe’s largest student populations and remains a front runner for city investment and growth over the next decade and beyond.”

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