Manchester’s Building Boom has Left Poorer Families Out

Manchester Salford Quays

There has been an increase in the development of luxurious high rise buildings in Manchester for the last years, but the poorer families who can’t afford these buildings have been left to rue their luck, according to a report from Alliance Manchester Business School.

Predictions were made that Manchester is dealing with an impending housing disaster because of a “flawed” developer-led regeneration procedure. Despite the planned 50,000 new and mostly private homes in central Manchester by 2040, over 80,000 people are still on Greater Manchester’s social housing waiting list.

Regeneration Procedure

Report from Alliance Manchester Business School revealed that regeneration since the past 30 years, has focused excessively on new flats and offices in the two central boroughs of Manchester and Salford – while failing to meet the crucial demands of others, such as families and those on lower incomes.

The aftermath of this, is a city that is not aligned with the needs of many of its residents and does not provide basic social infrastructures like schools, libraries, and broadband.

Also, it was discovered that out of the 15,000 planned houses in Manchester, not one of them are deemed to be affordable.

The Developer-led regeneration is an essential tool in the drive for greater urban growth and progress—for people’s proximity to leisure, community facilities, generating jobs for local people in the process as well as to re-brand the economy. The focus was to improve the standard of living especially for the lower income cadre.

Instead, the developer led strategy had created “islands of private affluence” and neglected services like “decent housing and transport” for the wider population, as opposed to what the strategy stood for, according to the report.

Karel Williams, a professor of accounting at the Alliance Manchester Business School who led the analysis staff, stated:

“Developer regeneration has produced an expanding new town in the centre, whose shiny external appearance impresses London journalists on a day return rail ticket. But this regeneration has done nothing to remedy the painful inequalities within and between Manchester boroughs, including shockingly low life expectancy in poorer neighbourhoods.”

According to the report, it added that the strategy had done “nothing to remedy the painful inequalities” between boroughs. Sir Richard Leese, the leader of Manchester City Council, while commenting on the report said:

“We fundamentally disagree with the research produced by the Manchester Business School. Manchester’s strategy around growth and economic and social success depend on an approach that requires dense living with residential opportunities close to major transport interchanges. This is what we have achieved in Manchester..”

He argued further by saying the current strategy is far from being an “incorrect approach” and then went on to challenge other towns to replicate the model and see if they would achieve similar “economic growth.”

Ripe Market for Investors

The real estate market in Manchester has been on the rise, so much that prices have grown ahead of London’s. While London’s house prices have dropped one percent yearly, Manchester, on the other hand, has witnessed growth, with prices rising over seven percent every year, per market analysis.

The booming housing market in Manchester is showing no signs of slackening down any time soon. Media jobs, technology, and design industries along with cultural additions such as the Manchester International Festival have contributed to Manchester’s boom.

According to Simon Bedford, a partner at Deloitte Real Estate, he said: “Manchester has firmly established itself as one of Europe’s fastest growing cities. It added that the waiting list for social housing had reached 80,000.


Based in the UK, Jimmy is an economic researcher with outstanding hands-on and heads-on experience in Macroeconomic finance analysis, forecasting and planning. He has honed his skills having worked cross-continental as a finance analyst, which gives him inter-cultural experience. He currently has a strong passion for regulation and macroeconomic trends as it allows him peek under the global bonnet to see how the world works.

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