The past 17 or so months have undoubtedly been a challenging time for the world, particularly the construction and property sectors. With financial difficulties and uncertainty, projects have been put on hold or even cancelled. However, things are beginning to look much more positive, and all kinds of industries are starting to see a resurgence.

The Manchester Crane Survey is an annual report which presents an insightful picture of how the city is progressing from a construction perspective. The report is a valuable resource that shows where construction projects have taken place in Manchester during the past year and the type of properties that have been built.

Here is a summary of some of the key highlights from the Manchester Crane Survey 2021…

Manchester Crane Survey 2021 Highlights

The following information and figures are based on official data collated by Deloitte for the Crane Survey. Released in February 2021, the latest survey covers construction output in Manchester during 2020.

Before we begin to dive deep into the statistics, it’s important to recognise the impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on the UK’s construction industry. Throughout the course of the pandemic, the country has endured some of the strictest restrictions put in place by any nation. With several lockdowns at a local and national level, people have been told to work from home, businesses have been forced to shut their doors, and social distancing has been encouraged. For two months, between March and May 2020, the construction industry was completely put on hold. After May, the industry was recognised as an essential sector and has therefore been able to resume ever since, meaning businesses like construction and scaffolding companies can return to operations.

Despite the pandemic, the survey’s results are highly encouraging and suggest that the construction industry is resilient against the restrictions that have been put in place. While some projects have been stopped, several others have continued, including work on existing developments and new developments. There will always be demand for construction and therefore, industry experts have confidence that this is a long-term sector with strong security.

So on to the crane survey! In 2020, there were 35 schemes completed in Manchester, including 4,914 residential units – the highest figure since the survey began in 2002. In terms of new schemes that started construction in 2020, 16 are residential, 3 are for offices, 2 are hotels, 2 are for education/research, and 2 are for student residential properties. In 2019, there were 24 new schemes underway compared to 25 last year. Work is continuing to meet Manchester’s demand for residential property with a 45% increase in the number of schemes starting on-site. There are currently 12,322 residential units under construction.

While the office space took a significant hit due to the pandemic, many people still wish to return to work when it is safe to do so, and several employers have already started the transition process. It is expected that companies will begin to adopt a hybrid approach to working remotely and working on-site. In 2020, 1.2 million sq ft of office space was created across 8 schemes, the largest figure since 2008 and an increase of 179% over 2019. 396,226 sq ft of office space commenced construction work last year.

There are also promising improvements across the leisure and retail spaces, two sectors of which suffered greatly due to lockdown restrictions. In 2020, 480,000 sq ft of retail floorspace was under development across 28 sites – this is above the annual average volume of 160,000 since 2007. By the end of the year, 107,000 sq ft of floorspace for retail and leisure was created, 21,500 more than in the previous year.

Click here to view the 2021 Crane Survey for Manchester in its full form.

Invest in Manchester Property

There is no better time than the present for making the most of Manchester’s thriving progress. With an abundance of lifestyle opportunities, an ever-growing population and continued regeneration, there is no doubt that Manchester is one of the world’s most promising cities. We are specialists in buy to let property in Manchester with several high-profile investment opportunities currently available. The coronavirus pandemic is now under control, and life is returning to normal. The UK’s economy is on the up, and we can now begin to look at a post-pandemic future. Now is the time to invest in property.

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