Simon Bedford and Melissa Wilson of Deloitte Real Estate
Residential development in Manchester has reached its highest level since 2008 with a raft of new skyscrapers set to transform the city’s skyline, according to Deloitte Real Estate’s Manchester Crane Survey.
A total of 22 new residential schemes have started construction onsite, eight more than the previous high of 14 in 2008.
The annual survey, now in its 16th year, reports that 6,963 residential units are currently under construction, compared with the figure in last year’s crane survey of 2,982.
Simon Bedford, partner and head of Deloitte Real Estate in the North West, said: “Our construction pipeline monitors residential development through to 2020 and shows a number of exciting schemes set to evolve the city’s skyline.
“Four towers over 25 storeys high have begun construction, marking a new, exciting era for housing in Manchester. One of which, Owen Street, is set to become the highest residential building in the UK.”
The crane survey identifies a trend for major refurbishment office schemes with eight of the nine new starts being refurbishments. Total office space in the pipeline totals 1.4 million sq ft of floor space, which represents a 76 per cent increase on the ten-year average for floor space under construction.
Bedford said: “The increase in office refurbishment projects comes as developers and landlords maximise the value of their assets in light of a rapidly expanding business community. Twelve per cent of this floor space is pre-let, and we expect strong occupier demand to continue throughout 2017.”
Meanwhile, the report shows that the hotel sector continues to grow. Adding to the 338 rooms delivered in 2016, a further 1,040 rooms are currently under construction in the city and expected to complete this year.
The crane survey suggests that 2017 will represent the largest delivery of hotel rooms since data collection for this sector started in 2006.
And education-related developments follow a strong period of delivery from 2012 to 2014, which saw approximately 750,000 sq ft of space completed. This year, approximately 200,000 sq ft started construction in addition to the 289,000 sq ft currently being refurbished.
Bedford added: “For the first time, Manchester can expect to import more graduates than it exports this year, continuing its positive trajectory of talent retention and helping to grow the city-living market.
“The weakening of sterling and boost of international connectivity via Manchester Airport is also set to provide a fertile environment for potential investors, while the universities are likely to continue delivering further schemes in 2017 as part of strategic repositioning and expansion.
“Our latest crane survey results are a reflection of Manchester’s growth and resurgence. Construction activity has not just matched those of 2007, it has completely blown those figures out of the water, demonstrating unparalleled scale and volume of development.
“While we cannot be certain how these factors will continue to manifest themselves in the years ahead, there is real cause for optimism and Manchester competing as a global city.”