Press releases

Deloitte Real Estate Manchester Crane Survey

31 January 2017

  • Manchester construction levels highest since 2008
  • Nearly 7,000 residential units under construction 
  • City to get highest residential building in the UK

Residential development in Manchester has reached its highest level since 2008 as a raft of new skyscrapers are set to change the landscape of the city centre, according to Deloitte Real Estate’s Manchester Crane Survey.

Twenty two new residential schemes have started construction on site, eight more than the previous high of 14 in 2008. The annual survey, now in its 16th year, reports 6,963 residential units are currently under construction, compared with the last year’s crane survey of 2,982.

Simon Bedford, partner and head of Deloitte Real Estate in the North West, said:

Our construction pipeline monitors residential development through to 2020 and shows a number of exciting schemes set to evolve the city’s skyline. Four towers over 25 storeys high have begun construction, marking a new, exciting era for housing in Manchester. One of which, Owen Street, is set to become the highest residential building in the UK.

The crane survey identifies the trend for major refurbishment office schemes with eight of the nine new starts being refurbishments. Total office space in the pipeline totals 1.4 million sq ft of floorspace. This represents a 76 per cent increase on the 10-year average for floorspace under construction.

“The increase in office refurbishment projects comes as developers and landlords maximise the value of their assets in light of a rapidly expanding business community,” continues Bedford. “Twelve per cent of this floorspace is pre-let, and we expect strong occupier demand to continue throughout 2017.”

The hotel sector continues to deliver and diversify the tourist offer. Adding to the 338 rooms delivered in 2016, a further 1,040 rooms are currently under construction in the city and expected to complete this year. The crane survey suggests that 2017 will see the largest delivery of hotel rooms since data collection for this sector started in 2006.

Education-related developments follow a strong period of delivery from 2012 to 2014, which saw approximately 750,000 sq ft of space completed. This year, approximately 200,000 sq ft started construction in addition to the 289,000 sq ft currently being refurbished. Bedford adds: “For the first time, Manchester can expect to import more graduates than it exports this year, continuing its positive trajectory of talent retention and helping to grow the city-living market. The weakening of sterling and boost of international connectivity via Manchester Airport is also set to provide a fertile environment for potential investors, while the universities are likely to continue delivering further schemes in 2017 as part of strategic repositioning and expansion.”

Bedford concludes: 

Our latest crane survey results are a reflection of Manchester’s growth and resurgence. Construction activity has not just matched those of 2007, it has completely blown those figures out of the water, demonstrating unparalleled scale and volume of development. While we cannot be certain how these factors will continue to manifest themselves in the years ahead, there is real cause for optimism and Manchester competing as a global city.


Notes to editors

About the Manchester Crane Survey
Deloitte Real Estate’s Manchester Crane Survey is the definitive review of construction and is seen as a barometer of developer sentiment and future supply. This report measures the volume of development taking place across Manchester and its impact. Property types include office, retail, leisure, residential, student accommodation, education and hotels. The areas covered in the report are: Central Manchester, Salford (including the corridor), and includes insight from developers building new schemes or undertaking significant refurbishment of the following:

Size minimum:
Office - 10,000 sq ft,
Retail - 10,000 sq ft,
Residential - 25 units,
Education, leisure and hotel schemes - significant scheme for inclusion.

The report is carried out by Deloitte’s in-house real estate team in Manchester who have monitored construction across the city. Deloitte’s field research is then verified with direct industry links and in-house property experts. The last edition was released in January 2016. The report covers the period from 31 January 2016 to 13 January 2017 and data goes back to 2001.

Deloitte Real Estate’s commercial property research team is focused on producing thoughtful and insightful publications, as well as comprehensive bespoke reports for investors, developers and occupiers.

About Deloitte
In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.

Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

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