Greater Manchester Property Market: Slowest June since record began

17/10/2023
(Last Updated: 19/10/2023)
6 min read

Average Sale Price

£230,842
(July)

Price Growth

+3%
(YoY for July)

Best Growth

Rochdale & Bury
(6.6 & 4.7%)

Least Growth

Trafford & Salford
(0.3 & 1.7%)
Key Takeaways

Greater Manchester is not immune to the effects of the higher cost of borrowing which is impacting the national property market as a whole. The good news is that the base rate is no longer rising, so things are beginning to stabilise, however, it is not coming down yet. This means that mortgages are more expensive than they have been since the mid-2000s and fewer people can afford to buy. Those who can, have less to spend.

As we have warned in our recent national reports, the low cost of borrowing we've come to take for granted is probably a thing of the past. 5% is quite normal, as you can see from the graph below, and a more realistic 'low' base rate to hope for is somewhere around 3%. The base rate will remain higher for a while longer, until inflation is brought under control, and then readjust slowly.


Source: Office for National Statistics (ONS)


Record low for sales volume in Greater Manchester

House prices in Greater Manchester and across the country have been driven down by the lower sales volume caused by fewer buyers in the market. Those of us who are fortunate enough to be in a position to buy, despite these external circumstances, can under-offer and negotiate down, knowing sellers are struggling to find buyers and may be under pressure to release funds from the property.

Data for sales volume in Greater Manchester is only available up to June, which showed the lowest sales ever for June (1,782) since records began in 1995.

The summer holidays are typically quieter for home movers and begin to get moving again once families have settled into the autumn term. Anecdotally, we are seeing the market pick up again with more transactions going ahead.

Source: House Price Index (HPI)


Showing resilience, Greater Manchester as a whole saw 3% growth last year, according to the latest data released by HM Land Registry (July). Some regions, in particular, are performing extremely well, which we'll take a deeper dive into, below.

Source: House Price Index (HPI)


Are house prices dropping in Manchester?

House prices in Greater Manchester match UK trends but remained steadier through 2021. Reassuringly, the average house price in the Greater Manchester region has almost recovered to its Nov 2022 peak (£234,680), at £230,642 in July this year. Large lenders, including Halifax and Nationwide, have reported a further fall in property prices since then, however, this cannot be confirmed until HM Land Registry release more recent data.

A further fall in house prices will be welcome news for hopeful first time buyers, especially now that there are more affordable mortgage products, with some mortgage lenders offering rates under the current base rate (subject to terms and loan to value).

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Bury and Oldham least affected by falling volume



Source: House Price Index (HPI)


Sales volume has fallen; the districts with typically higher sales have seen the steepest decline, including Manchester, Stockport and Wigan. Bury and Oldham, with lower volume, have slowed down more gently.

Source: House Price Index (HPI)


Bury first to recover after property market dip

As well as remaining relatively mobile as the market cooled off, Bury has seen the second strongest growth, year on year to July, and its average property comes in just above the average for the region at £242,743, making Bury a strong and relatively affordable opportunity for investors.

Source: House Price Index (HPI)


Remarkably, Bury beat its Nov 2022 peak already, in June 2023, bucking national trends. We see Trafford and Stockport clearly leading the region for average prices while Bolton, Wigan and Oldham remain the most affordable districts to buy a home in Greater Manchester.

Source: House Price Index (HPI)


Property market winners and losers

Rochdale has seen the strongest year-on-year price growth as a percentage, in the 3 months to July (6.3%, 6%, 6.6%), followed by Bury (4.4%, 4.9%, 4.7%). Bolton has been performing well but seems to be losing momentum (5.5%, 6.2%, 3.2%).

Rochdale: A good investment opportunity?

With the strongest growth in the region, Rochdale is far more affordable on average than Bury and has proven almost as resilient, reaching £193,447 in July, just £502 below its peak of £193,949 in January. For first time buyers with flexibility on location and for property investors, this may be a prudent bet against an uncertain national market.

Trafford (1.8%, -0.4%, 0.3%) and Salford (2.4%, 1.8%, 1.7%) have seen less year-on-year growth, effectively losing against the regional average.

Is it a good time to buy a house in Manchester?

Manchester is already the second largest creative, digital and tech hub with the highest population (5.92%) and employment (10.2%) growth predicted by a CBRE report.

The same report, published earlier this year, examined real estate prospects across the 50 largest regional towns and cities in the UK. Manchester ranked #1 for student accommodation, single-family housing and multi-family housing, #2 for senior living and #5 for affordable housing based on projected real estate prospects over the next ten years.

Despite the cancellation of HS2, the region of Greater Manchester remains largely strong with areas of steady growth, particularly in Rochdale and Bury.

To date, the Housing Investment Fund has committed over £420m to build over 5,150 units at 40 sites across Greater Manchester. It is now using recycled funds and will continue to invest in more homes across the region.

Falling house prices and new housing stock should excite buyers to enter the market, especially now that there are more affordable mortgage products. With demand for new homes in Greater Manchester set to grow, not fall, property prices should be protected from losing their value and will recover, in any case, as we saw after the 2008/9 crash.

We predict house prices in Greater Manchester will increase by 5-10% in the next 5 years.

Andrew Boast FMAAT MIC
CEO and Author | SAM Conveyancing "I see a strong autumn ahead where there will be more sales volume than expected, as buyers seek a bargain, banks offer more affordable mortgage products and sellers adjust their expectations of what their property is currently worth in this market."

Sources: Latest data from - Gov.UK, Bank of England, UK House Price Index.

Caragh Bailey, Digital Marketing
Written by:
Caragh is an excellent writer in her own right as well as an accomplished copy editor for both fiction and non-fiction books, news articles and editorials. She has written extensively for SAM for a variety of conveyancing, survey and mortgage related articles.
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