Twenty-two residential schemes started construction on site in the past year, eight more than the previous high of 14 in 2008, according to the annual survey, now in its 16th year. There were further record levels of activity in the hotel and education sectors.
Deloitte Real Estate found 6,963 residential units currently under construction, compared with the 2,982 at the start of 2016.
Simon Bedford, partner and head of Deloitte Real Estate in the North West, said: “Our construction pipeline monitors residential development through to 2020 and shows a number of exciting schemes set to evolve the city’s skyline. Four towers over 25 storeys high have begun construction, marking a new, exciting era for housing in Manchester. One of which, Owen Street, is set to become the highest residential building in the UK.”
The crane survey identifies the trend for major refurbishment office schemes with eight of the nine new starts being refurbishments. Total office space in the pipeline totals 1.4m sq ft of floorspace. This is 76% above the 10-year average for floorspace under construction.
“The increase in office refurbishment projects comes as developers and landlords maximise the value of their assets in light of a rapidly expanding business community,” continued Bedford. “Twelve per cent of this floorspace is pre-let, and we expect strong occupier demand to continue throughout 2017.”
There were 338 new rooms delivered in 2016, and a further 1,040 rooms are currently under construction in the city, expected to complete this year. The crane survey suggests that 2017 will see the largest delivery of hotel rooms since data collection for this sector started in 2006.
Education-related developments follow a strong period of delivery from 2012 to 2014, which saw approximately 750,000 sq ft of space completed. During the past 12 months, approximately 200,000 sq ft started construction in addition to the 289,000 sq ft being refurbished.
Bedford added: “For the first time, Manchester can expect to import more graduates than it exports this year, continuing its positive trajectory of talent retention and helping to grow the city-living market. The weakening of sterling and boost of international connectivity via Manchester Airport is also set to provide a fertile environment for potential investors, while the universities are likely to continue delivering further schemes in 2017 as part of strategic repositioning and expansion.”
Bedford concludes: “Our latest crane survey results are a reflection of Manchester’s growth and resurgence. Construction activity has not just matched those of 2007, it has completely blown those figures out of the water, demonstrating unparalleled scale and volume of development. While we cannot be certain how these factors will continue to manifest themselves in the years ahead, there is real cause for optimism and Manchester competing as a global city.”