It’s been a weird year so far in that, rather than feeling like an unending and unyielding crisis, that we’re very much on hold awaiting a resumption of the economic trajectory of pre-crisis levels.
Of course, the caveat to this, is that rather there being a return to normality, we’ll be living in a new normal where measures such as social distancing, health precautions and potential further restrictions become routine rather than shocking.
The new normal will, by most measures, see a prolonged but expected return to economic reality, especially in sectors such as travel, property and investment.
There’s little to suggest that within property and construction that the situation will see a long term downturn compared to the picture before the crisis emerged.
This is becoming apparent as more data becomes available from earlier in the year with regards to economic activity in the sector. For example, construction, planning permission, mortgage activity and property sales were all at relatively high points.
In comparison to sectors such as retail which may take some time to recover, the property and construction sectors appear well placed to recover fairly quickly, and this has now been backed up by the latest data released by the annual ‘Crane Survey 2020’ by Deloitte.
In 2018 Manchester saw a record breaking year and it was always going to be difficult to match or exceed that, but certainly in a year like 2020 it was always likely to represent an enormous challenge to even come close to those kind of figures.
Having said that the latest Deloitte survey showed that the number of schemes completed in Manchester in the previous 12 months were at their highest number since 2006, representing the highest completion rate in almost 15 years.
The volume of office space that was under construction in Manchester exceeded 2 million square feet for the second consecutive year, showing that many businesses were not just migrating to Manchester but also choosing to set up there too, representing a huge vote of confidence from start-ups and SME’s.
The new office developments being built represent a massive 15,500 new jobs that will potentially add £309 million to the local Manchester economy, which is already one of the biggest in the UK outside of London.
Residential units in Manchester being constructed exceeded 12,000, representing the biggest delivery of residential units in the city since 2006. This again displays the level of confidence in the city, hitting a nearly 20 year high.
Of course these are great headline figures and more than encouraging for investors and landlords alike, but the question remains - how the rest of the year will play out with the easing of restrictions?
Nobody knows the true answer to that question but what we can do is look at the evidence available to us via research such as this. What it shows is that Manchester and the UK property market as a whole have been sat in a strong and healthy position and are primed to recover once things start to return to some type of normal.
It’s not to say that things will go back to the way they were before, but that in returning to the new normal the Manchester property and investment market are better primed than most to reap the rewards.