Fund managers looking for investment opportunities outside London and the South West favour the North West over anywhere else in the country, according to a Lloyds Bank survey.
Twenty two per cent of fund managers believe the best opportunities away from London and the South East lie in this region, according to the latest Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking & Investment Property Forum's Commercial Property Confidence Monitor.
The monitor is based on a survey of over 500 property professionals.
The favoured location for fund managers after the North West is the Midlands, with 14% saying they would look there for investment opportunities.
Major businesses who took part in the survey put the South West in second position after London and the South East, while small and medium to large firms see the next best opportunities to be in the Midlands.
The Lloyds Bank study also revealed widespread optimism among every type of property business for the first time since 2010, with fund managers reporting "sizeable turnaround in confidence in UK market activity and 46% anticipating an uplift compared to 10% in August 2012".
Respondents were asked a series of questions relating to their views on market performance and their own businesses' prospects over the next three to six months.
Marty Green, managing director of mid-markets real estate at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, added: "As the old adage goes, once London rebounds a recovery in the regions is never far behind, and we're now beginning to see the market leaving the boundaries of the M25 in search of higher returns elsewhere."