Manchester building boom may continue as city dubbed ‘most liveable’ in Britain

Manchester has seen a housing and property boom in recent years, a trend that could be set to continue or even increase following news it has retained its title as the most liveable city in Britain.

Brits may find the list of most liveable cities in the world - published by the Economist - to be a fairly disappointing read as the best places featured are overseas, with Melbourne coming out top and fellow Australian cities Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide all making the top 20. No UK city cracked the top 50, but Manchester just missed out, ranking 51st, ahead of London in 53rd.

Some may suspect the Australian sun was an influencing factor, however, the runner-up was Vienna, a city with bitter winters but outstanding cultural, architectural and infrastructure credentials. Indeed, it was these factors, along with issues like health and security, that determined the score each city got out of 100.

Manchester scored 88.8 and London 87.2, which may be enough to persuade at least some people that the northern city is the place to live. With homes and the cost of living being lower, improved infrastructure - having lots of trams is something it shares with Melbourne - and proximity to some of Britain's finest countryside, there are many reasons for it to be seen as attractive.

All this means the construction sector, including insulation and waterproofing fitters, are sure to be kept busy as more new homes are built and the population soars.

This trend has actually been notable for some time. The 2011 census showed that the City of Manchester's population had soared by over 19 per cent since 2001, while neighbouring M postcode boroughs Trafford and the City of Salford both saw population rises above the regional and national averages. It is not that the whole of Greater Manchester saw such a trend; neighbouring Stockport actually saw a fall in population. However, as the core city at the heart of the conurbation, Manchester has attracted both people and builders to the city centre and surrounding districts on a large scale.

Indeed, it is the expansion of the city centre population that has been most notable. A district where just a few hundred resided as recently as the 1990s, it is now rapidly approaching the kind of densities seen in central London, and set to soar further.

Already featuring a plethora of apartment blocks, the centre is now increasingly reaching skywards. In 2006, the Beetham Tower - a part-hotel, part-luxury Owen Street tower A - was the highest of four skyscrapers to be constructed by Renaker Build in a cluster on the south-western edge of the city centre. This development will include around 1,400 apartments, as will Allied London's Trinity Island development. Its 'vertical village' will include an even taller skyscraper than Tower A, meaning the highest Owen Street building will only be able to look down on the rest of Manchester for four years.

While there are various plumbing and engineering works to be completed in maintaining water pressure on the upper floors of tall buildings, the more common elongated blocks of around four to ten storeys are also continuing to rise up. Now overflowing from the city centre, they have been appearing in areas adjacent to the city centre such as New Islington, Cheetham Hill and central Salford just across the Irwell for several years. Some of the latest developments can be seen around Ardwick Green, where the Grove Village is witnessing extensive development of both rental and owner-occupied property.

With Manchester's reputation for liveability receiving another boost, the city's popularity and high demand for apartments is set to carry on growing.