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A Definitive Guide on Buy to Let Manchester


In the ever-evolving world of real estate investment, few cities shine as brightly on the map as Manchester. A thriving metropolis with a rich industrial heritage and a future-focused vision, Manchester has captured the attention of seasoned investors and newcomers alike.

Whether you’re an experienced property mogul or dipping your toes into the lucrative world of buy-to-let investments, this comprehensive guide is your key to unlocking the potential of Manchester’s property market.

With a keen eye for the real estate landscape, we’re here to provide you with an insider’s perspective on navigating the buy-to-let terrain in this vibrant city.

From understanding the fundamentals of buy-to-let investments to exploring the neighborhoods that promise the best returns, our goal is to equip you with the knowledge and insights you need to make informed decisions. Whether you’re looking for high rental yields, long-term capital growth, or a combination of both, Manchester offers a myriad of possibilities, and we’re here to guide you every step of the way.

So, whether you’re drawn to the historic charm of the Northern Quarter, the cosmopolitan allure of Deansgate, or the emerging hotspots beyond the city center, this guide will serve as your indispensable companion on your buy-to-let journey in Manchester.


Why invest in buy-to-let properties in Manchester?

Why invest in buy-to-let properties in Manchester?

Investing in buy-to-let properties in Manchester offers a compelling opportunity for several reasons:

  1.  Strong Rental Demand: Manchester’s growing population, including many students and young professionals, drives consistent demand for rental properties. The city’s job market and educational institutions ensure a steady influx of tenants.
  2. High Rental Yields: Manchester consistently ranks among the UK’s top cities for rental yields. Investors can enjoy competitive returns on their investments, with the potential for attractive cash flow.
  3. Diverse Neighborhoods: Manchester boasts a variety of neighborhoods, each with its own unique character and investment potential.
  4. Infrastructure and Transport: Manchester’s well-developed transport links, including a major international airport and excellent rail connections, make it accessible to both residents and tourists. Accessibility enhances the appeal of buy-to-let properties.
  5. Property Price Growth: While property prices have been rising steadily, Manchester remains more affordable than London and some other major cities. Investors can benefit from the potential for capital growth in the long term.
  6. Regeneration Projects: Ongoing urban regeneration projects in Manchester, such as the Northern Gateway and NOMA, create opportunities for property investment in revitalized areas, often leading to increased property values.
  7. Strong Student Market: With several universities and a large student population, Manchester offers opportunities for investors interested in student accommodation, which can yield competitive returns.
  8. Buyer Demand: The city’s property market has historically shown resilience and a robust appetite from buyers, ensuring that there is often a ready market for those looking to sell their investment properties.


Rent to let vs. buy to let in Manchester

Rent to let vs. buy to let in Manchester

The decision between “rent to let” and “buy to let” in Manchester ultimately depends on your financial goals, investment strategy, and personal circumstances.

Rent to let in Manchester primarily involves subletting a property that you are currently renting. This approach is less common and can be more complex. The primary advantage is the lower initial financial requirement since you’re not purchasing the property.

However, this method requires explicit permission from the landlord, and not all rental agreements allow subletting. Additionally, the profit margins can be lower, as you’ll be paying rent yourself and also managing the overhead costs associated with subletting.

On the other hand, buy to let refers to purchasing a property specifically to rent it out. This method is more popular and traditionally seen as a form of investment. The initial costs are higher due to the need for a down payment, mortgage arrangements, and associated property purchase costs. However, it offers the potential for capital growth if property values in Manchester rise.

Moreover, as the owner, you have more control over the property and can benefit from any increase in its value over time. The rental income can also be used to cover mortgage payments and maintenance costs, potentially leading to a profitable venture in the long term.


What Are the best areas for Manchester buy to let?

What Are the best areas for Manchester buy to let?

The best areas for buy-to-let investments in Manchester depend on factors such as the target tenant market, budget, and investment goals. However, certain areas are frequently highlighted for their potential:

  • City Centre: Manchester city centre is a prime location for buy-to-let investments, particularly appealing to young professionals and students. Areas like Deansgate, Spinningfields, and the Northern Quarter are highly desirable due to their proximity to businesses, entertainment venues, and transport links.
  • Salford Quays: Home to MediaCityUK, this area attracts a mix of professionals, especially those working in media and tech industries. It offers modern living spaces and is well-connected to the city centre, making it a lucrative area for buy-to-let investments.
  • Fallowfield and Withington: These areas are popular among students due to their proximity to the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University. They offer potential for high rental yields, given the consistent demand for student accommodations.
  • Didsbury and Chorlton: Known for their vibrant local communities and array of amenities, these areas are popular with families and professionals. They offer a more suburban feel while still being close to the city centre.
  • Ancoats: Once an industrial area, Ancoats has undergone significant regeneration and is now known for its trendy apartments and vibrant food scene. It’s popular among young professionals and creatives.
  • Hulme and Moss Side: These areas have seen substantial redevelopment and improvement in recent years. They offer more affordable property prices compared to other parts of the city, potentially allowing for higher rental yields.
  • Levenshulme: This area is increasingly popular due to its more affordable housing options and good transport links to the city centre. It’s becoming a hotspot for young professionals and families.


Top properties in Manchester

From modern high-rise apartments in the city center to elegant period homes in suburban neighborhoods, the city’s luxury property landscape is rich with options.

These properties often come with high-end amenities, strategic locations, and unique architectural designs, making Manchester a desirable destination for luxury living and investment.

Here are some of the top properties available in Manchester.

Bridgewater Wharf

Situated in the popular Salford area, Bridgewater Wharf is a modern residential development offering a blend of apartments and townhouses. It’s known for its contemporary design, high-quality finishes, and proximity to Manchester city centre and Salford Quays, making it attractive for both professionals and families.

X1 Manchester Waters

This development is part of the larger regeneration project transforming the Pomona Islands dockland into a vibrant residential community. X1 Manchester Waters stands out for its waterfront location, offering stunning views and a tranquil environment, yet is still close to the city centre.

X1 Michigan Towers

Located in the thriving MediaCityUK, X1 Michigan Towers is a striking development designed for luxury living. It caters primarily to professionals working in the nearby media and tech industries, offering high-end apartments with modern amenities.

Uptown Residence

Uptown Residence boasts a prime location near the River Irwell and is known for its luxury apartments that offer a blend of style and comfort. The development is popular for its upscale living experience, with easy access to the city’s main attractions and business districts.

The Cartwright

This property, located in the Northern Quarter, is known for its historical significance and character. The Cartwright offers a unique blend of modern living within a heritage setting, making it particularly appealing to those who appreciate a mix of old and new.

Queens Terrace

Situated in the heart of Bury, Queens Terrace is noted for its charming architectural design and offers a more suburban living experience. It’s ideal for families or individuals seeking a quieter lifestyle while still being within reach of Manchester’s city centre.

The Pendleton

Located in Salford, The Pendleton is another development that combines modern living with convenient location. It’s particularly appealing due to its close proximity to Salford University and Manchester city centre, making it a good choice for students and young professionals.

Oxygen Towers

This development is a standout in Manchester’s skyline, offering a mix of apartments, townhouses, and amenities such as a gym and a rooftop garden. Located close to the city centre, Oxygen Towers is designed for those seeking a high-end urban living experience.


Top postcodes in Greater Manchester by property value growth

The top postcodes in Greater Manchester for property value growth can be categorized into two groups based on different periods:

Growth over the year to May 2019:

  1. The M8 postcode area of Cheetham Hill and Crumpsall in North and East Manchester led the growth with an increase of 4.75%, equating to a real-term growth of £6,357. [source]
  2.  The M40 region, including Collyhurst, Miles Platting, Moston, New Moston, and Newton Heath, saw property prices rise by 3.88% or an average of £5,566. [source]

Growth since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 [source]:

  1. BL7, Bolton: Covering Bromley Cross, Eagley, and Turton, this area saw an increase of £61,000, averaging £77 per day, with current house prices at £299,000.
  2.  M28, Salford: Including Worsley, Little Hulton, Eccles, Tyldesley, Boothstown, and Walkden, house prices rose by £55,000, or £70 per day, to an average of £271,000.
  3. M33, Trafford: Covering Sale, Urmston, and Carrington, the price increase was £76 per day, with a total rise of £60,000 to £377,000.
  4.  M41, Trafford: Including Urmston, Davyhulme, Flixton, and Trafford Park, prices rose by £57,000 or £72 per day to £336,000.
  5. OL3, Oldham: In Saddleworth, the increase was £59,000 or £75 per day, reaching an average of £322,000.
  6.  SK7, Stockport: Covering Bramhall, Hazel Grove, and Woodford, the increase was £59,000 or £75 per day to £390,000.
  7. SK8, Stockport: Including Cheadle, Cheadle Hulme, Gatley, and Heald Green, prices rose by £63,000 or £79 per day to £366,000.
  8.  WA14, Trafford: Covering Altrincham, Bowdon, Broadheath, and Dunham Massey, the increase was £77,000 or £96 per day to £436,000.
  9.  WA15, Trafford: Covering Altrincham, Hale, Hale Barns, and Timperley, prices rose by £81,000 or £102 per day to £493,000, marking the biggest growth since the pandemic began.


Benefits of buy to let in Manchester

  1.  Strong Rental Demand: Manchester has a robust rental market driven by a large student population, young professionals, and a growing workforce. The city’s universities and colleges attract thousands of students, while its thriving business sector draws professionals from various industries. This consistent demand for rental properties can lead to steady rental income for landlords.
  2. Strong Economy and Employment Growth: Manchester is one of the UK’s leading economic hubs, with a strong presence in sectors like finance, technology, media, and education. The city’s economic growth supports a stable rental market and can increase the attractiveness of properties to potential tenants.
  3. Regeneration Projects: Ongoing and planned regeneration projects in Manchester are enhancing the city’s infrastructure, transport links, and public spaces. These improvements can increase the desirability of neighborhoods and, consequently, the value of properties in these areas.
  4. Transport Links: Manchester boasts excellent transport links, including an extensive tram network, train stations with national connections, and proximity to Manchester Airport. Properties near these transport links are particularly attractive to renters.
  5. Cultural and Lifestyle Appeal: The city is known for its vibrant cultural scene, including music, arts, sports (notably football), and a diverse range of dining and entertainment options. This lifestyle appeal attracts a wide range of tenants, from students to professionals and families.
  6. Supportive Local Policies: Manchester City Council’s support for housing development and urban regeneration projects can benefit buy-to-let investors. Policies aimed at enhancing housing quality and availability can create a more favorable environment for property investment.
  7. University and Hospital Clusters: Proximity to the city’s university campuses and major hospitals creates specific rental markets, such as student housing and accommodations for healthcare professionals, offering niche investment opportunities.
  8. Growing Population: Manchester’s population is growing, partly due to its attractiveness to young professionals and families looking for a vibrant urban lifestyle. This population growth can sustain long-term demand for rental properties.


Downsides of BTL investment in Manchester

While buy-to-let (BTL) investments in Manchester can offer significant opportunities, there are also downsides and challenges that investors should consider:

  1.  Property Market Fluctuations: Manchester’s can be subject to fluctuations like any property market. Economic downturns, changes in housing demand, or oversupply in certain areas can affect property values and rental incomes.
  2. High Entry Costs: The initial cost of purchasing a property in Manchester, particularly in popular areas, can be high. This includes not only the purchase price but also stamp duty, legal fees, and potential refurbishment costs.
  3. Maintenance and Management Responsibilities: Owning a rental property comes with the responsibility of maintaining it and managing tenants. This can be time-consuming and sometimes stressful, especially for those who are not local or new to property management.
  4. Regulatory Changes: Landlords must comply with a range of regulations, including safety standards, licensing requirements, and tenant rights. These regulations can change, requiring landlords to stay informed and sometimes incur additional costs to ensure compliance.
  5. Tax Implications: The tax landscape for BTL investors has changed significantly in recent years, with reductions in mortgage interest tax relief and changes to wear-and-tear allowances. These changes can affect the profitability of BTL investments.
  6. Void Periods: There may be times when the property is unoccupied between tenancies, known as void periods. During these times, the landlord still needs to cover the property’s costs without rental income.
  7. Competition: Manchester’s popularity as an investment location means there can be significant competition both in buying properties and attracting tenants, particularly in desirable areas.
  8. Rental Yield Variability: While some areas in Manchester may offer high rental yields, others might not be as lucrative. It’s important to research and choose the right area to maximize rental income.
  9. Liquidity Concerns: Real estate is a less liquid asset compared to stocks or bonds. This means that it can take longer to access the invested capital by selling the property, especially in a slow market.

It’s important to conduct thorough research, consult with property experts, and consider personal circumstances and investment goals before making a decision.


How to get started with buy-to-let property investment in Manchester

Investing in buy-to-let property in Manchester can be a smart decision given the city’s strong rental demand, diverse property market, and potential for capital growth.

However, navigating the complexities of the real estate market, understanding the local dynamics, and managing investment properties can be challenging, especially for those new to the market or living outside the area.

This is where Aspen Woolf steps in. As a leading real estate investment consultancy, we specialize in helping investors at every stage of their buy-to-let journey in Manchester. From identifying lucrative investment opportunities in promising areas to providing expert guidance on financing, Aspen Woolf’s team of professionals is equipped to offer tailored advice suited to your individual investment goals.

We can assist you in understanding the nuances of Manchester’s property market, including the best areas for investment, expected rental yields, long-term growth prospects, navigating legal requirements, understanding tax implications, and property management solutions. This comprehensive approach ensures a hassle-free investment experience, whether you’re a first-time investor or expanding your portfolio.

For more detailed guidance and to explore the latest BTL opportunities in Manchester, contact us at Aspen Woolf. Our team of experts is ready to help you navigate the exciting world of property investment in Manchester.

Contact us today to start your investment journey and discover how you can maximize your returns in this vibrant city.