Known as the Capital of the North, Manchester and surrounding Greater Manchester is the second largest city in the UK. It’s population of nearly 2.8 million is growing rapidly, and it’s no wonder – Manchester’s rich culture (it’s the most linguistically diverse city in Western Europe), media links (Media City is home to a wealth of media companies and studios, including big names like ITV and BBC), architecture, and global links are just some of the pull-factors for this old industrial city. It also so happens to be one of the most affordable places in the country.
But in a city with so much variety, where each suburb and region is so vastly different from the next, how do you even know where to begin when you’re looking for a house? Here’s our list of the five best places to buy property in Manchester, whether you’re looking for a rural hideaway, an affordable home or somewhere to raise the kids.
With its old brick buildings and glorious canals lined with cobbled streets, Castlefield is a favourite for renters and buyers alike. Following restoration after an IRA bomb in 1996, it has grown to a bustling area with waterfront bars and a thriving social scene, perfect for young professionals. It is arguably the best place for city centre living – it’s within walking distance to the centre of Manchester, well-linked to other cities by rail and road, and with an average house price of around £226,520 it’s relatively affordable, too. And with more and more businesses flooding into Manchester and the planned construction of HS2 to link it to London, over the years the value of property there will only increase.
The District of Moston is just three miles north-east of Manchester city centre. This quiet residential area is just half an hour from all the amenities, activities, museums, and eateries of the city centre, but it’s also home to Broadhurst Park and just a 30 minute drive to the Peak District National Park. With this little-known district you really do get the best of both worlds, and the best part – it’s cheap. The average price of a semi-detached house in Moston is just £133,545; for a terraced house it’s £99,285; and you can expect to pick up a flat for an average price of just £88,896.
If Moston is a little too close to the city centre, you might want to try Saddleworth. Right on the edge of the Borough of Oldham, this civil parish is located in the beautiful Peak District National Park. You could fill your weekends exploring Saddleworth’s tiny villages and hamlets, taking long walks through the dramatic scenery and enjoying stunning views of reservoirs, rolling hills and ancient architecture. Come Monday morning and you can be in the centre of Manchester in just 45 minutes. With an average house price of £234,087, Saddleworth is the perfect location for outdoor-loving city workers.
If you’re a young professional looking for a vibrant part of the city to call home, Ancoats could be for you. It’s an old region of the city that has kept relics of its industrial past – modern apartments and offices are housed in old mill buildings and classy canalside accommodation is being built to mirror the wharfs of the industrial revolution. When it comes to vibrant, Ancoats has it all – trendy bars and cafes, a variety of restaurants and street food, a constant flow of new, independent shops, theatres, open spaces, street art, and entertainment ranging from live music to comedy nights. With an average house price of £251,074 it’s relatively affordable, especially as many of the brand new developments come under the government’s Help to Buy scheme
Worsley is ideal if you’re moving to settle down, or if you’ve already got a family. With its excellent schools, family-friendly pubs and restaurants, and outdoor spaces like Worsley Woods and Blackleach Country Park, its perfect for family fun at the weekends. But its great public transport links to both the centre of Manchester and other cities like Liverpool make it perfect for commuting, too. If all of this doesn’t persuade you, it’s also cheaper than many nearby neighbourhoods – the average price for a semi-detached property is just £234,577.
If you’re looking to buy in Manchester, you’re not alone – the city is growing in popularity from residents and visitors alike. By thinking about what you want from your home, you’ll be able to find the best location in no time.
If you need more advice on looking for a house, check out our house hunter’s guide