Manchester, 26 July 2017 This month, JLL’s Manchester and Leeds property specialists discuss their respective city centre markets, and the increased buying power and competitive returns available to investors looking north. Read on for our take on Manchester’s market or click here to read our overview of the Leeds market. Manchester sales Manchester’s sales market showed no signs of slowing during the approach to summer. We are continuing to see steady and sustainable price increases, driven by strong demand, coupled with an acute lack of supply. Interest in high quality, well presented properties is especially intense; it’s not unusual to receive multiple offers on a single property within two weeks of it being listed on portals and our website. On average, properties handled by our Manchester offices spend 10 days on the market before a sale is agreed. Summer’s upbeat sales environment reflects a local market that has remained extremely positive since the start of 2017, bolstered by the launch of three new-build developments across the city: Manchester New Square by Urban and Civic, Potato Wharf by LendLease, and Carpino Place by ECf. Overseas buyers continue to show interest in Manchester City Centre and have driven a large number of off plan sales in this market over the last six months. Foreign investment into the UK’s property market is often driven by the security, stability and transparency of Britain’s political and economic environment. However, the local driver of investment into Manchester’s market is the city’s strong residential rent and price growth. A number of investors are also turning away from London and moving their money north, due to the difference in residential values between Manchester and the capital. Lower average prices in Manchester mean lower stamp duty charges and increased buying power for anyone looking to set up home or become a landlord. Manchester lettings Manchester’s lettings market also experienced strong interest in the lead up to summer, with a total of 98 properties let during June. 49 of these properties were private lets; the other 49 were apartments in Greengate, Manchester’s first private rented community. Rental values across Manchester have grown by 5% in the first half of 2017. This is in part explained by a booming student market: Manchester’s student population has increased from circa 70,000 in 2007 to more than 80,000 in 2017. Manchester also has an excellent graduate retention rate, with 50% of graduates staying in the city. As we move into the traditionally busy late summer period, we expect to see a further increase in rental values, in conjunction with a considerable hike in the number of lets agreed each month.