Over the past few years, several research studies have highlighted Manchester, and the wider North West region, as a strong choice for buy-to-let investors.
In 2020, Aldermore’s Buy To Let City Tracker named Manchester as the top city in the UK. It looked at factors such as average rental prices, yields, capital appreciation, occupancy, and the size of the city’s population in the rental market.
Meanwhile, Savill’s 2021 Regional Forecasts put the North West at the top of the table for their five-year house price estimates. Savill’s expect an 18.8% growth in values over the next five years.
TimeOut’s survey of 27,000 city-dwellers even ranked Manchester as the third best city in the world – just behind San Francisco and Amsterdam.
And even our own, simple research found interest in Manchester is soaring: since January 2018, the number of people who search Google for “property investment Manchester” has grown by 122.2% (from 720 searches to 1,600). By comparison, searches for London have grown by just 90%. And North West rival, Liverpool, is only up 70%.
So with interest in Manchester growing rapidly, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at the different areas around the city and identify the buy-to-let hotspots for investors.
To determine the best spots we’ll use two pieces of data: average rental yields and capital appreciation. Rental yields will help us understand the scale of return an investor can expect from a buy-to-let property, whilst capital appreciation will show the long-term value of holding a property.
Greater Manchester consists of ten metropolitan boroughs: Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, Manchester and Salford (these final two have ‘city’ status). Across each borough, there are 82 postcode districts (e.g. BL1 in Bolton, M5 in Salford, and so on). We’ve accounted for all of them in our research, with the results below.
Top 25 Areas In Greater Manchester For Buy-To-Let, By Rental Yield
|Postcode||Borough||Avg Asking Rent (pm)||Avg Yield|
This table shows where the highest rental yields, a cornerstone of any buy-to-let investment, can be achieved across Greater Manchester.
Whilst many would have expected the city centre to dominate, that’s not necessarily the case. Although it does very well with M1 (Gay Village, Northern Quarter & Piccadilly), M3 (Deansgate, Green Quarter & Spinningfields) and M4 (Ancoats, New Islington, NOMA & Northern Quarter) all ranking in the top half of the table, it is M14 which, by some distance, offers the best rental yields in the city.
M14 is home to much of Manchester’s university population, containing the student-house dominated Fallowfield and extending towards the city centre via Rusholme’s famous Curry Mile. Student accommodation is known for consistently generating exceptional yields.
Neighbouring postcode, M13, also performs well for similar reasons. Starting in Longsight, the postcode stretches all the way up to the very edge of the city centre, covering Ardwick, Manchester Royal Infirmary, the University of Manchester campus, and much of the popular Oxford Road. Once again, this is a student-heavy area, so it’s no surprise to find stronger-than-average yields.
We should point out Salford too. With 5 postcodes in the top 25, it’s the second-best performing borough in the metropolitan region, after Manchester. The borough’s ongoing regeneration is stimulating an increase in rental prices and, with it, yields. Plus, as we’ll see in the next section, property values are climbing quickly too. Hotspots with large volumes of new apartment blocks aimed at young professionals, such as Blackfriars (M3), Ordsall (M5) and MediaCity (M50), are major drivers.
Top 25 Postcodes In Greater Manchester By Property Value Growth
|Postcode||Borough||Avg Asking Price||5 Year Growth|
This table shows the areas of the city that have seen the highest growth in property values over the past five years.
We find that areas outside of the city centre perform best, which is no surprise.
Naturally, properties in the centre are already some of the most expensive in the region. And whilst they have grown considerably in the past five years, they do not have the same potential for growth as a lower-value area.
For example, average asking prices in M4 (Ancoats, New Islington, NOMA & Northern Quarter) have grown by 49%, from £162,372 to £241,934 – a raw increase of £79,562.
Meanwhile, average asking prices in M38 (Little Hulton), which is roughly 10 miles from the city centre, have shot up by 67%. But prices were lower to begin with, so the raw increase in value is lower than M4 at just £57,247.
This is why we see the top 25 peppered with postcodes from a more diverse range of boroughs. The whole of the Greater Manchester region is witnessing strong growth in house prices, but it’s the areas with the lowest values that will net the highest percentage increases. This doesn’t necessarily mean these postcodes are good choices for buy-to-let investors.
An investor stands to benefit far more from the higher raw increase in value in more central postcodes, especially after factoring in the rental market.
Nonetheless, within the top five, there are several locations considered up-and-coming. M16, M18, and M19 are all fairly close to the centre and have excellent transport links. Their growth may even be a result of homebuyers being valued out of neighbouring, in-demand locations.
M16, covering a large section of Trafford, sits just north of the leafy Chorlton (M21), where the average asking price is £349,620. Buyers not able to afford such prices may be looking towards Trafford as a “next best” choice, given its accessibility to both Chorlton and the city centre.
It may be a similar story for M18 (Levenshulme) and M19 (Gorton). Both are in close proximity to West Didsbury (M20, average value of £327,909) and Stockport’s highly sought-after “Four Heatons”. Heaton Chapel and Heaton Mersey, Heaton Moor and Heaton Norris all sit in SK4, where asking prices average £322,615.
Levenshulme was, in fact, named one of the best places to live by The Sunday Times, no doubt contributing to further demand for the area.
Buy-to-let investors may wish to pay attention to this trend. If these areas are attracting buyers, the likelihood is they’ll attract renters too – especially with ongoing regeneration schemes and the fact they’re within easy reach of the city centre.
So, where are the best buy-to-let areas in Manchester?
We believe the best buy-to-let properties offer a well-balanced mix of rental yields and capital appreciation.
A strong rental yield covers the cost of owning a property whilst building equity and boosting an investor’s monthly income. Meanwhile, capital appreciation offers a substantial pay-out in the future, when the time comes to sell.
So, with that in mind, we wanted to combine the two data points above to identify the best buy-to-let locations in Manchester.
We’ve used a simple system. There are 82 postcode districts in the region. The postcode with the highest rental yield receives 82 points. The second best receives 81 points. And so on.
The same is applied to the growth in values. The postcode with the highest growth in value receives 82 points. The second best receives 81 points. And so on.
We then weighted the scores. Rental yield scores were multiplied by two, whilst capital appreciation scores were not. This places emphasis on yield, which takes slight precedence for buy-to-let investors.
Then, the points have been added together to calculate a final score, by which the results are ordered. Here are the results:
|Postcode||Borough||Avg Yield||Yield Score||Avg Asking Price||5 Year Growth||Growth Score||Combined Score|
The best buy-to-let postcodes in Greater Manchester are primarily within Manchester and Salford, with only a few interjections by the other boroughs.
Salford does particularly well, with three postcodes in the top five. Residential projects in the previously mentioned MediaCity, Ordsall and Blackfriars have attracted a lot of investor interest over the last few years and will continue to do so.
However, it’s Manchester’s M9 that comes out on top. This is an interesting result considering M9 covers Blackley and Hapurhey, an area named as the most deprived in the UK in 2007. Yet it clearly offers value for property investors: values are still quite low and yields are strong, plus these areas are starting to attract investment, with regeneration now radiating outwards from the city centre (the Northern Gateway is a £1billion scheme, for example).
There is value to be found all over Greater Manchester for a buy-to-let investor. Aside from the popular, well-known areas across the centre, this research has sprung a number of surprises that highlight the value of looking around.
If you’d like to discuss investing in Manchester property, we can help. We’re a property investment company that, in the past few years, has focused almost entirely on the high-growth property markets across the North. We’ve helped investors across the world to find, purchase and benefit from modern buy-to-let apartments in the city centres of Manchester, Liverpool, and more. We believe these properties offer the best and most predictable returns – with soaring tenant demand, strong yields, and excellent capital appreciation.
Get in touch to learn more and speak to our team today.
About this data
The data in this article comes from PropertyData. It is an accurate representation of the Greater Manchester property market as of January 2022. We’ll update this report next year, in 2023, with fresh data.