Turley: Northern Powerhouse depends on Manchester housing

Manchester's aspiration to be the driver of the Northern Powerhouse will depend on attracting thousands more city dwellers, according to a report from planning consultants Turley.

Rise and Reinvention: The Manchester City Centre Housing Market found that at the lowest point in the housing market in 2011-2012, only three apartments were built in Manchester.

In the past 12 months this figure reached 222 apartments, which was still a shortfall on the housing requirements in the city centre.

The report assesses housing and socio-economic data and the views of a dozen of Manchester's leading residential property agents. One of the key findings is that the lack of supply of housing in the city centre was fuelling the growth of the private rented sector.

In the report, Turley said: "It is a time when there is a perception of a rapidly recovering city centre residential market place – a recovery that is integral to economic growth – and exciting new features in the market, particularly around 'PRS'.

"The reality however, is that supply has thus far not ramped up and indeed has seen further decline since the end of the recession. Those few schemes that have come to the market are largely underpinned by public funding support and viability remains challenging."

Steve Bell, Manchester office director at Turley said: "There's a lot of talk about the Northern Powerhouse and devolution or 'Devo-Manc', but if Manchester is to punch above its economic weight then the market needs to deliver the right level and type of housing in the city centre.

"The city is aware of the shortfall – demonstrated by Manchester Place and other initiatives – and we are only now seeing a much greater number of schemes being built. There has never been a better opportunity for the private sector to fill this gap."

To view the full report, click here

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The first thing the council must realise though is that Manchester needs clean streets and green spaces in order to attract people here, otherwise we’ll be building homes that go empty while people continue to choose to live outside the city.

By Yarrum

I think Liverpool has a clear advantage in attracting more residents to the city both now and in the longer term, and this is where we have to be honest that Manchester on its own cannot drive the Northern Powerhouse. The natural advantages of Liverpool will stand it in good stead to act as counterbalance to Manchester and bring a new dimension to powering the north. The Liverpool Waterfront is an incredible residential environment of world class, and the Waterfront is complemented by the Georgian Quarter. Liverpool is the only city outside London, Edniburgh and Bristol to have a high quality and extensive historic Georgian area that joins seemlessly with its city centre. So, lets not get too carried away with Manchester as ‘the’ driver of the Northern Powerhouse. Liverpool’s role will be crucial in the longer term although some do not yet realise it.

By Paul Blackburn

Yarum has it exactly right. The city is unattractive and has virtually no green space. It’s hard to persuade visitors that the city is a great place to live. The first impression of the many visitors arriving at Piccadilly Station is one of ugliness as they walk towards the centre past tatty shops, homeless people and beggars to arrive at the concrete mess that is Piccadilly Gardens. Yes, there is a vibrant cultural, entertainment and foody scene but does that compensate enough for the greyness that is the general impression of our city? Many years of short sighted city planning has short changed us when it comes to open spaces and a quality environment.

By Ian Jones

If that’s the case why are house prices shooting up in Manchester (faster than the UK average) and why are developers building lots of flats in the city centre at Granada, South Gateway, and so on?


Yes, you have a point CG about the appetite of developers and I guess, therefore, also that of renters and buyers of apartments. You’re right that the ugliness of a city doesn’t necessarily impact on the eagerness to live in the city but it will certainly downgrade the experience of living there.

By Ian Jones

@Paul Blackburn. Ah, yes. that well known catalyst for 21st Century boom, the Georgian terrace. Liverpool needs to hitch its wagon as best it can to Mcr, not waft about with delusion.

By ickle