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Manchester-based international property consultants CBRE, have reported that 2018 became a record-breaking year for property deals within the city, with the organisation advising clients on more than £1.5bn worth of commercial property investment transactions.

Over 40 large scale individual transactions were completed by the company’s team based in Manchester, covering a wide range of property sectors including healthcare, leisure, logistics, office and retail, emphasising the strength of the economy in the North West.

In 2018, CBRE advised office and retail investor, Bruntwood, in securing a joint venture partner, L&G Capital, to form Bruntwood Sci-Tech, the largest property platform in the UK, to drive technology and science growth in the region. This partnership has led to £360m worth of investment already.

L&G has committed to also purchasing the West Tower development upon its completion, which is due in May and will offer 350 residential apartments in the city.

This activity in transactions emphasises the continued attractiveness of the North West region, and Manchester specifically. Despite the uncertainty and challenges posed by Brexit, demand from occupiers and investors remains strong, and the local economy continues to thrive.

In 2018, Manchester was established as one of the fastest growing cities in Europe, and 2019’s report shows no indication that this activity is slowing down.

As the city continues to grow, it becomes increasingly attractive for a series of different businesses in media, film, health innovation, fintech, digital and tech sectors, which will sustain investment for the North West over the longer term.

This trend is also reflected in some major lettings agreements which have been confirmed during the past year, which include Qiagen in CityLabs and in Enterprise City, with more major lettings expected in 2019.

Other high profile agreements include Amazon in Hanover House, HMRC in 2 New Bailey, WeWork in Dalton Place and in St John’s.

As the boundary of Manchester expands, the strength of Manchester’s economy also booms, positioning it as a destination for world-leading conferences and business. With improvements to public attractions and the travel infrastructure, the outlook for the city’s tourism industry also looks extremely strong.

Recent statistics from ONS have shown that 23,845 businesses were operating in Manchester in 2018, an increase of 58 per cent from 2014, when the figure was 15,060. There has also been an increase of over one thousand businesses during the past year alone, from 2017’s figure of 22,490.

Retail has become the most popular sector in business across the city, followed by technical, scientific and professional industries at 4,215 and property sector businesses at 1,805.

The residential sector has also continued to attain record breaking levels of development in the city for the third year running. Last year, 48 residential schemes were progressing, an increase from 41 in the year 2017, with 14,480 residential units set to be delivered in Manchester.

According to Deloitte Real Estate, more than 3,345 residential units are currently under construction in Manchester. According to the statistics, over the next three years, the projected delivery of units will be greater than the number of residential units which were delivered between 2007 and 2018.

Several schemes for build to rent in New Islington and Ancoats are also delivering a record number of residential units to the market.

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