A Cathay Pacific plane takes off from Manchester Airport

China and India air links boost interest in Manchester property scene

Direct flights to and from Asia and the Far East are resulting in a surge of interest in Manchester and the north-west of England.

Manchester Airport has boasted non-stop flights to and from Beijing and Hong Kong for some time, while a similar service to Mumbai with Jet Airways launched in November 2018. Passengers now can now fly to Manchester from India’s wealthiest and most populous city in a shade under 10 hours, on one of the five flights per week.

Hainan Airlines’ service from China’s capital city began in 2016, and a study in 2018 showed that interest in Mancunian property from Chinese investors was 200% higher than a year earlier. The Beijing service has made it much easier for potential investors, tourists and students to reach the area while the flights will also have contributed to increased interest in Liverpool and Birmingham.

NW and Midlands cities defy Brexit woes

Zoopla’s recent UK Cities House Price Index showed that since the Brexit referendum, house prices in Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool have bucked the general downward trend – rising by 16%, 15% and 11% respectively.

Crucially, the decision of the Chinese government to relax its rules over allowing its citizens to invest in the UK in 2018 also appears to have had an impact as shown by the huge jump in interest.

Manchester Airport saw 240,000 passengers flying to China and Hong Kong in 2018, a rise of 17%. With London property prices scaring off some investors, better value-for-money in the north-west coupled with the frequent, direct link with Mumbai could see a similar surge in interest from south Asia.

“The attraction of Manchester is due to a number of factors,” Savills investment director Oliver Foster has told the Manchester Evening News, “These include the strength of the economy, favourable supply/demand dynamics and attractive yields when compared with London and cities of a similar quality across Europe.”

The Airport City development will also tie in with the city’s expanding global links, with its plan to add offices, hotels, logistical and commercial space to the site over the next 10 years or more. An area close to the airport is also pencilled for the end of the HS2 high speed rail link.

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