English housing market booms as Manchester agent closes £1m of sales a week

Manchester UK
Manchester, UK. Allan Baxter/Getty Images
  • In the UK, Manchester real estate is booming.
  • Agent Anthony Stankard says his firm has done £1m of sales a week amid a housing market frenzy.
  • “I’ve never seen anything like it,” he told the Manchester Evening News.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Manchester housing market is booming. And one local agent says he’s never seen anything like it.

Referred to casually as England’s second city, the Northwestern English metropolis is known for its longstanding industrial history.

But now, the city is a center of culture, popularized by its bustling nightlife scene and famed football. And it’s drawing homebuyers in droves.

Anthony Stankard is the managing director of Reside Manchester, a Deansgate-based residential agency. He told the Manchester Evening News that his firm sold £52 million (over $US60.8 ($AU85) million) worth of homes over the last year as the city’s housing market bounces back from the coronavirus pandemic.

Between August 2020 and July 2021, the firm has sold 167 properties, he said, amounting to £51.25 million in sales. That’s an average of just under £1 million a week in sales (all to UK-based buyers), in addition to the 555 properties the firm let over the same time frame.

“We’ve had a year like no other, but despite everything we’ve been through Manchester continues to thrive,” he said. “I always had this feeling it would come back strong, but it’s been way beyond anything even I could have predicted. Since April it’s been absolutely phenomenal. I have been doing this for 20 years and, in the rental market especially, I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Manchester, UK
Manchester streets emptied during the coronavirus lockdown. Gu/Getty Images

Data shows UK housing costs are up over 13% year over year as of June, the highest annual increase since 2004, according to the BBC. In Manchester, property prices are up 12% year over year, the Manchester Evening News reported.

Stankard said his firm is bustling with prospective clients, adding that the agency’s sales figures are up 17% as a result of the frenzy, and up 30% from the 2018-2019 year.

He attributes the mass migration to the return of city workers, who otherwise may have relocated or moved home amid the heights of the pandemic. Not only that, but he claims to see ample Londoners moving up as well.

“I think because a lot of people are now able to work from home they’ve looking at Manchester because it’s cheaper than London, but it’s still got all the attractions of a big city,” he said.