Manchester broker talks to us about buy to let investment in his hometown

What do you think of Manchester being number one?  Does it come as a surprise?

Manchester is my hometown so it’s fantastic to see the property market doing so well. Not only in the city centre but in the surrounding areas, both in respect of conventional housing and apartments. It’s no surprise to me as the city has a lot going for it. Manchester and Salford are being heavily developed. We have many positive aspects such as the BBC, Metrolink and a thriving city centre. In normal times the city has attractive social venues across the board. Including internationally recognised football clubs.

How do you think the buy to let market has changed in Manchester in recent years?

Supply has increased along with demand. In my estimation, most rental properties are flats situated in and around the city centre. The desire for inner city living has attracted investors, many of which are from overseas. The impact of their interest, and their capacity to pay good prices has helped to sustain the marketplace.

What do you think that the main reasons are for investing in Manchester?

Confidence in the city and the marketplace and achievable returns, in relation to rental income and anticipated capital appreciation.

How have you, and your landlords, adapted to the challenges that Covid-19 has brought?

Currently I feel that the market has surprisingly not been adversely affected by the pandemic. It remains to be seen when the financial support given by the government comes to an end, as to whether the impact of tenant’s capacity to pay will affect confidence in the rental market. We have not had to make any adjustment within our organisation to accommodate any significant changes.

Since the Covid outbreak, do you think there has been changes in the requirement of renters in Manchester?

Currently the rental market has remained static and strong with no considerable increase in demand and no significant decline. Demand for rental property remains high.

How do you think the stricter lockdown measures in Manchester has affected/affect the future of the city?

Inevitably there will be financial consequences as a result of Covid. I anticipate that the market might well be adversely affected in many ways. For example, rental voids, difficulties with tenant’s capacity to pay, financial institutions being sceptical about lending and most importantly of all, international investors moving out of this sector.

If there is to be a “shake out” from Covid, I feel the conventional housing market will not be massively disadvantaged. However, the apartments particularly in the city centre might well be vulnerable should these difficult circumstances continue.


Simon Jones, mortgage adviser, 
Irlam Estates Financial Services Ltd 

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