- Worth buying a new flat in booming Manchester?
As anybody will know who’s been there in the last few years the Manchester skyline is a mass of tower cranes and the concrete service cores of new office and apartment buildings. I don’t really understand who the developers think is going to buy all those flats but it’s a positive thing because people are moving into the city and cultural life and local shops are thriving as a result. Maybe the buyers are people who are sick of spending three hours a day stuck in traffic or waiting for trains that don’t turn up and are filthy when they do?
So what’s the general opinion on buying a flat in the city? Has anybody done this? How do you guarantee to get a good building that’s been finished off properly (not a Persimmon Homes job) with everything snagged and working and no nasty surprises on service charges that grow exponentially over the years?Posted 4 months agodooosukMember
I bought one off plan about 15yrs ago. Sold it for a £25k loss when I got married and needed a family home. I lived in it initially and then rented it for nearly two years. Rented easily enough for nearly double the mortgage payment but I needed the equity out of the property to buy a house. The construction was terrible though…wooden structure and noise that travelled in every direction.
The wife also had a flat in Castlefield basin, right next to the white bridge. We kept that when we bought the family home and rented that out easily enough. They were proper concrete structure and you didn’t hear your neighbours. Sold that eventually (2 years ago) as we moved further out of the city.
Not sure where I’m going with this but…over the past 10yrs we didn’t have a problem renting either out and never had a bad tenant (we had two that couldn’t pay at times but we worked with them to come up with a repayment schedule and we were lucky that both kept to it). All let and managed by ourselves and the worst I had to deal with was a broken washer machine and a shower solenoid replacing.
Not sure what the market is like at the moment but there must be a lot of competition for renters given the amount of flats built recently. And a lot of the flats are going to look tired and crap in 10 to 15years time.Posted 4 months agobinnersSubscriber
I don’t really understand who the developers think is going to buy all those flats
The vast majority (75%+ IIRC) are sold, off-plan, to investors in Hong Kong and Singapore before a brick is laid. Apparently, London property is now all overpriced (no shit?) so thePosted 4 months ago
parasitesinvestors are looking elsewhere in the UKloweySubscriber
Chinese money. The sheer amount of building activity is up to the levels (probably moreso) than before the 2008 crash. I just cant see how its sustainable. The BBC moving to Media City was a big boost which filled a lot of accommodation, however I dont thing that there is the demand at the moment for all the apartments that are going up.Posted 4 months agoedhornbySubscriber
the boom can very easily turn to bust because the demand isn’t as nailed on as people think. See Jen Williams’ article in the MEN, overseas investors are buying at a 75% of the UK cost because of the weak pound so anything new that gets onto the market has been through an overseas investor. I wouldn’t be buying BTL in the UK right now.Posted 4 months agobinnersSubscriber
You should do what everyone else does.
Buy a flat in the city centre so you’ve access to the great city centre nightlife, discover that the reality of that isn’t a Sunday Supplement photo of people sat eating tapas sat outside a nice bar in Castlefield, but a club 3 doors down that plays happy hardcore til 4 am and somehow the builders ‘forgot’ to install any of the sound insulation that was listed on the build.
Then start a petition and write to the city council and the licensing authorities to get it closed down, before giving up and moving to the sticks to somewhere that doesn’t have a club playing happy hardcore til 4 am, 3 doors down
😉Posted 4 months agopoolmanMember
The london flat sale market is poor as investors are not putting any new money in. You just cannot make money any more as a landlord. Prices are off by a about 20% from their peak. Manchester may well follow, whenever I take the train through I see all the construction and just see a bubble.
Rather than a central flat I walked through eccles on the way to the aj bell stadium and you could have bought a doer upper terrace for 100k. I was q tempted, this was 2 years ago and the skips had already moved in – maybe the cheap ones have gone.Posted 4 months agoedhornbySubscriber
I’ve heard stories that the ones for reasonable prices (I.e. within the average salary affordability) don’t even make it into the agent listings, they are sold to the person who is in contact with the agent at the right time. I would say that if you are going to buy there is a lot of variation in what’s on sale and you’d need to be in Manchester and put the effort in with all the agents to get the right place. A lot of people looking to buy tend to end up looking for terraces outside the city centre as a result.. Good luck, hope you get the right thing for you.Posted 4 months agoMoreCashThanDashSubscriber
I work on the fringes of the lettings industry in Nottingham. New build flats remain popular and rent out really quickly.
However, 15-20 years ago when they started being built, some high street lenders wouldn’t do mortgages on them due to a fear the market would become saturated and values would drop – not really happened, other than the general price blip after the 2008 crash.
I do hear a few lettings agents who manage flats in these blocks moaning about build quality and ongoing problems, mainly with water leaks. More recent ones may be better built.Posted 4 months agonooneSubscriber
You sound in a similar position to the wife and I.
We were considering buying in the city centre and still might, but almost certainly not a new build. I still think there is room in the market for a established development to increase in value over the next 2-3 years but when you add on a new-build premium that is almost always instantly lost on completion (especially as there is no shortage of new builds) then you just end up being further away from the tipping point of an increase in value and I’m not sure there is room in the market to recover it.
However, as has previously been said, there is a lot of far eastern money being ‘parked’ here and it is normal for that money to stay for long periods of time (sometimes generations). Accordingly, the likelihood of a lot of these new builds actually making it to the occupier’s market is slim which might restrict supply and increase demand (read: price).
Too risky for us. Chances are we’ll continue renting, skip a step and buy in Wilmslow when we give up on life.Posted 4 months agoquarryman77Subscriber
Many of the new developments currently going up in MCR are ‘build to rent’ model (ie none are for sale – the whole building is traded as an asset and all the tenants pay rent to the same managing company). The number of new builds for sale has dropped a lot in favour of this model which as previous posters have said is funded by overseas investors (they own the buildings). The rents are high but there are fringe benefits that (allegedly) make it attractive – gyms, cinema rooms, bars for residents etc – all a bit Brave New World for me. I wouldn’t live in them. The build quality on many of the schemes is basic – and they won’t look shiny and new in 5-10 yrs that’s for sure.
But, I was at a property auction last week though and there were loads of lots in Manchester at really good money (failed landlords, unpaid mortgages, repossessions etc) – not the new ones, but definitely worth a look if you are interested.Posted 4 months agochamleyMember
We were renting a flat in the Albion Works in Manchester at the time of the last crash and we were surrounded by owners who were trapped in negative equity. Things got worse for them when the facilities management company went bust and the place was left to ruin. Security gates broken, lifts broken, weeds everywhere, killing any chance of a decent sale. Story about the place below
The value of your asset depends on some other third party keeping the place looking nice and there’s no guarantee of that happening. I can see history repeating itself based on the volume of new stuff going upPosted 4 months agosamuelrMember
I rent one of these new build flats in media city. I would never buy one. They are built to a cost (as cheap as possible without falling down) there are too many issues with a lease hold on the land. Fire safety that is meant to be present isn’t and its up to the owners to fund the remedial work.Posted 4 months ago
I know of an owner who is facing a £25k bill to fix the mess that the builders did with the fire suppression i.e forgot to install it. The fire service has condemned any parking within 100m of the building. Every owner will have to pay 25k to fix it otherwise they loose the building.BillMCMember
I can’t see that market working. The average salary in Manchester is £27k, people on that income would struggle to pay such rents. People with more money would buy further out. Some of those ghastly towers are in each others shadow. I can only imagine that they are being use as a repository of hot money or as a means of laundering. Plus there’s next to no infrastructure to support those people, schools, food shops, doctors are all required for a development to be sustainable. It raises questions over what was going through the minds (or pockets) of the planning department, looks like Hulme Crescents Mk 2 to me.Posted 4 months agosnapperdanSubscriber
If you’re rich enough to buy property as an investment vehicle in Greater Manchester there are much smarter places to put your money than city centre flats. Levenshulme was cheap 5 years ago, some houses there have gone up almost 90 per cent in that time, there’s still plenty of head room, but its very very hard to buy a house there now.
Find the new Levenshulme and buy there or look further out in places like the Rossendale Valley, Glossop or Stalybridge…Posted 4 months ago
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