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."