There is no doubt that Manchester’ growth has been one of the UK’s biggest success stories of recent years. Yet, what does the incredible pace of change really mean for newcomers and existing residents in terms of issues such as housing and work?
The Population Boom
The last few years have brought a massive increase in the number of people living here. In 2018, it was revealed by Centre for Cities that the population of the centre of Manchester grew by 149% between 2002 and 2015. The number of jobs in the zone has also grown by 84% from 1998 to 2015 too.
This means that the city topped the UK table in terms of city centre growth. It was comfortably ahead of second-placed Leeds, followed by Birmingham and Liverpool in the list of the fastest-growing British cities.
The city council also recently released figures to help us understand the scale of the growth experienced here. They looked at the central wards of Deansgate and Piccadilly, where the population has grown by 185% since 2004. In terms of the overall city centre, the current total of over 65,000 residents is 5,000 greater than just a year ago.
Looking ahead, the council believe that Manchester’s total population will increase to 600,000 in the next couple of years. Employment numbers are expected to rise in line with this, with 50% more jobs to be created by 2025 according to the 2019 State of the City Report.
With this massive level of population and job growth, more space was needed for the centre of Manchester to grow. This is currently being met through a huge variety of large-scale building projects going on in the city.
It has been suggested that Toronto is the only city in North America that currently has more skyscrapers being built in it than Manchester. Dozens of cranes across the city have been working to alter the city’s skyline with new housing and office developments.
Among the most important developments in Manchester right now are those found at Deansgate Square, the stunning Tower of Light in the Civic Quarter and the massive project at St John’s. Around £2 billion from abroad has been invested in commercial property in the city in the last four years.
What Does This Mean for People Living in Manchester?
One of the key issues to date has been the fact that it has been difficult for home builders to keep up with the rapid rate of population growth and job creation. Some estimates suggest that the population is growing up to 15 times more rapidly than the rate that new homes are being built at.
By 2025, there should be 35,000 new residents living in Manchester city centre, with some wards to grow by over 60%. Naturally, house prices have also risen here recently. A year on year increase of 4.5% puts it in second place in the UK’s hottest property markets, just behind Liverpool.
As we have seen, building work is going on to ensure that newcomers have places to live in and work in. This makes it important to search for a good-value property and the right mortgage deal. The online mortgage broker Trussle suggests looking through 12,000 deals from dozens to lenders to find the right one.
For existing residents, this is an exciting time to live in Manchester. The arrival of so many new residents and job opportunities have transformed the city and will keep on transforming it for the foreseeable future. Anyone looking for a new career in a vibrant city doesn’t need to think about moving away.
The rapid expansion of any city always brings with it issues such as a lack of housing or increasing prices. However, it seems clear that the enticing possibilities of living in one of the UK’s fastest-growing cities will outweigh these matters for many people.