Redevelopment of the city centre and the BBC’s move to Salford has made Manchester somewhat of a ‘place to be’ in the last few years.
And with the kooky charm of the Northern Quarter, a thriving LGBT scene on Canal Street, grand spaces for art and theatre, a legendary music scene, top university, and a buzzing new Arndale, who wouldn’t want to move to this hive of energy, education, entertainment and industry?
Another thing people flocking to the city – to be a part of the economic boom that will supposedly make it the UK’s Northern Powerhouse – can’t stop raving about are the ‘ever so reasonable’ house prices.
There’s no doubt that Manchester’s property market has a lot to offer whether you’re a first-time buyer or big city baller.
But what if instead of saving up for the roof over your head to save on rent or your dream luxury apartment you, instead, decided to buy your own personal island?
MM compiled a list of city centre properties across all price ranges and compared them to islands across the globe up for sale and… we definitely recommend you buy an island.
Starting at the top, we looked at the most expensive listing on the rightmove website.
Coming in at £1,500,000 this two bedroom duplex apartment on St. Marys Parsonage next to the River Irwell is most definitely a site to behold.
Floor-to-ceiling windows provide ‘breath-taking’ views of the city and the interior is sleek, modern and minimalist, finished to the highest of standards.
It is a beauty but for just more than £100,000 less you could buy Cat Ong Island, off the coast of Vietnam.
This luscious green island with four white sand beaches comes complete with its own eco-lodge, water front bungalows – 16 to be exact each with their own bathrooms – a 700 square metre restaurant and bar, and a lobby.
And just to top it all off the lodge was revamped just two years ago and all furniture AND a 24 metre wooden sail boat are included.
Or if you’d prefer some land down under, for about £150,000 less than Manchester’s finest, you could own Quoin Island off Gladstone, Australia.
This is one of the last available absolute beachfront properties, which comes with 12 acres of beach and bush and a reputation for ‘tropical balmy evening parties’.
Taking one tiny step down the property ladder to a budget of £1,000,000 we get this four bedroom apartment in the former St George’s Church on Arundel Street.
It is gorgeous and the modern interior design is offset nicely by the remaining church windows, arches and the clock tower.
You also get a gymnasium level, sauna room level and a top floor terrace and all within a ‘unique signature statement’ building, walking distance from Deansgate Metrolink.
However if you’d like to swap the warm, stale air of a swaying tram for the cool sea breeze and spray of waves as you approach your own island by boat then hold on to your hats because we’re about to blow you away.
We found so many, in fact, we couldn’t narrow it down to a top one or two so here’s a list:
Reklusia Island in the Caribbean is 3.5 acres of sun, sand, sea and we told you so for £970,364.
Laguna Azul (£905,673) off the coast of Panama is a 2.47 acre palm tree paradise and, by the way, there’s a hotel on the sea.
Belle Island in New York offers a fully-furnished five bedroom house, boat and two acres of wooded land for £902,439.
And closer to home is Krokholmen, a Norwegian Island with 50 acres, clear blue waters and the £800,966 price tag includes all buildings and cabins.
If you’re flat hunting in Manchester with a budget of £600,000-£700,000 you could snap up this three bedroom flat in the prestigious No.1 Deansgate.
This pristine penthouse doesn’t just come with a postcode to be proud of but two parking spaces, a private roof terrace and a buffer zone….
Whatever a ‘buffer zone’ is, we’re pretty certain there isn’t one quite like the sea!
So, once again because we couldn’t chose, here is a list of the islands you could buy for less than £700,000.
First up is French Polynesian island Moute Itit, a two acre private getaway in the ‘most beautiful’ part of the Bora Bora Lagoon.
It boasts a two bedroom house, three bungalows, a Tahitian meeting and entertainment house, a workshop, and more all for £640,773.
Next up Coco Plum Cay off the east coast of Honduras, this is priced at £643,675, has six acres and ‘too many amenities to list’!
South Andros Island in the Bahamas offers 6.8 acres, a three bedroom house, a two bedroom house, a large gazebo, coconut trees, two tiki huts and a covered pavilion for £643,675.
Oh, and did we mention, both houses are being sold fully furnished, including a Mahindra diesel SUV and a 12 foot boat with an 18 horsepower motor.
For £475,000 you can buy this three bedroom corner apartment in Timber Wharf, Worsley Street, with ‘striking’ views of the city.
But we doubt those views – as beautiful as Manchester may be – will be anywhere near as striking as those of Lake Winterland in Wisconsin, USA.
This wooded wonder offers five acres of land, 2,000 feet of waterfront and a fully furnished cedar chalet that sleeps up to 15 people – and it costs just £420,491.
Rightmove’s premium listing when we searched around the £300,000-£400,000 mark was a ‘superbly presented’ two bedroom apartment right opposite the Museum of Science and Industry.
But journey to Central America and you’re bound to get more bang for your buck.
Take Pink Pearl Island – even the name is pretty – a two acre plot with three round-thatched cabanas, each with two double beds, private bathrooms and ocean views AND a main house.
There are also swimming pools (one is heart-shaped just FYI), cable TV, a speedboat, a restaurant, no mosquitoes and ‘there is always a light breeze’.
Staying in the area but much cheaper and much smaller, and definitely worth a mention is Isla Paloma – set in a ‘quiet, tranquil’ bay this property has just 0.25 acres and costs £250,764.
Good things. Small packages… still not as small as an apartment in the city centre.
Finally for those of us with more realistic ambitions, fear not, for there are options in the city and in the sea for a budget of £100,000.
In Manchester, exactly £100,000 will buy you a one bedroom ‘recently renovated’ Northern Quarter apartment, a very short walk from Victoria.
It’s nothing spectacular but it’s not too shabby either and they do say location, location, location.
So how’s about Mexico? Isla Esmeralda really lives up to its name with 3.7 acres of incredible greenery for just £93,802.
Located in a booming area close to an airport and golf course, make this half-island the perfect spot to be developed.
But, heaven forbid, you’d have to share.
So, why not buy this 3.3 acre Sweet Island – yes that is actually what it’s called – on Stuart Lake in British Columbia, Canada, for just £53,629.
There’s an old house in disrepair, but just imagine how well you could restore it with basically half your budget left?
And if you really want to put all you can into the renovation so you can have a sweet house on your Sweet Island then instead of food shopping you can just live off the lake’s rich supply of Rainbow Trout.
No man is an island, but he’d be a fool not to buy this one.
Main image courtesy of Tomas Sobek, with thanks.