Manchester

Manchester home building 'highest since 2008 crash'

Manchester housing development
Image caption Dozens of new skyscrapers are set to change Manchester's skyline, Deloitte said

Residential developments in central Manchester are at their highest level since the 2008 financial crash, according to a new survey.

Accountancy firm Deloitte's Manchester Crane Survey said 22 schemes had started construction, eight more than the previous high of 14 in 2008.

It said dozens of high-rise apartment buildings were set to change the city's skyline over the next few years.

Simon Bedford from Deloitte said the work reflected the city's "resurgence".

Market demand

The annual crane survey reported 6,963 residential units were currently under construction, compared with last year's 2,982.

Mr Bedford, head of Deloitte Real Estate in the North West, said: "Construction activity has not just matched 2007, it has completely blown those figures out of the water, demonstrating unparalleled scale and volume of development."

Greater Manchester has a £300m housing scheme to loan funds to developers.

The incoming chief executive of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Eamonn Boylan, said the bulk of the fund was being used in the city centre "because that is where the market demand is".

"We are not simply producing luxury apartments - many of the apartments in the city centre are being bought by young professionals who are sharing those apartments and effectively creating their own affordable housing."

Image copyright Manchester City Council
Image caption The tallest skyscraper planned for Owen Street will stand at 200m (656ft), 19 storeys bigger than the current highest building, Beetham Tower, which is 168m (551ft) over 47 storeys

Analysis: Richard Stead, BBC Radio Manchester

Many of the cranes are the result of the £300m Greater Manchester Housing Fund.

It is a pot of money which has been devolved to our 10 council leaders as a result of the government's Northern Powerhouse project.

The fund provides low interest rate loans to developers, which commercial banks are unwilling to offer.

It means housing schemes that would be impossible in Birmingham, Leeds or Liverpool can be built in Greater Manchester


Plans to build the tallest skyscraper in Manchester were approved by the city council in June last year.

More than 100 nearby residents objected, saying it would look out of place and would not provide affordable housing.

But Manchester City Council said it would be "a striking landmark development" that would regenerate the area.

Mr Bedford said: "If you look across whole of city centre - there is a wide range of new apartments being constructed - many of them are being taken up by people not earning big bucks, young people accessing jobs for first time - they can afford to live in Manchester."

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