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Forget Paris and Milan… Manchester is planet’s 15th biggest real estate investment, reveals study

By Dominic Claeys-Jackson

Manchester is one of the world’s leading destinations for real estate investment, a major industry study has revealed.

Jones Lang LaSalle claims that since 2008 Manchester has seen the 15th highest amount of investment worldwide when expenditure is judged relative to economy size (GDP).

This puts the city ahead of the likes of Paris, Beijing and Milan.

Rosemary Feenan, director at Jones Lang LaSalle’s research team, said the findings showed Manchester possesses scope far beyond its second-city status.

“Manchester’s future will be dictated more by what it does to compete with other international cities such as Lyon, Boston or Vancouver, rather than other UK cities,” she said.

“Manchester must foster global visibility in order to continue its ascent.

“Trade alliances and the opportunities for its businesses in both emerging economies and established global economic superpowers like China will be vital to attracting future investment.”

Measurements by Jones Lang LaSalle were based on direct real estate investment between 2008 and the third quarter of 2012.

When ranked according to the total volume of investment, which is measured in US dollars, Manchester takes 46th place.

London – which tops the global standings by both volume and GDP-relativity – is the only other UK city to appear in the top 50.

David Lathwood, director and head of Jones Lang LaSalle in the North West, said that EU economic stagnation and the emerging Far East means Manchester must capitalise.

“This research carries some important messages for Manchester and its timing couldn’t be more critical,” he said.

“Manchester has to focus on developing its offering now to remain competitive.

“Continual investment in the airport, High Speed 2 and the ongoing growth of the city’s universities are absolutely critical to attracting new investment, while key development sites need to be brought forward quickly and regeneration projects accelerated.”

Mr Lathwood added that Manchester has demonstrated ‘significant resilience’ throughout the economic downturn.

He said: “It’s time for the city to build on its robust performance so that it can truly capitalise on its potential as the economy begins to move towards growth.”

Jones Lang LaSalle’s research is part of its ongoing ‘World Winning Cities’ project, which was first launched in 2002.

The multi-year project tracks the performance of competing global cities by examining the trends which affect the business and economic landscape in 300 worldwide destinations.

This year’s findings were presented to an audience of key regional stakeholders and business leaders at Chetham’s School of Music last week.

Emma Antrobus, Local Policy Manager at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said that the city has big plans to broaden its horizons even further.

“It is excellent news that Manchester is recognised as a key international city and, as a Chamber of Commerce, we are keen to see further strategic collaboration and investment to consolidate and ultimately improve on this position,” she said.

“We are starting to see cranes appearing on the skyline of the city again after a difficult period for the construction industry, and we know that recent investment announcements in the rail industry will make an impact on the confidence of investors.

“The soon-to-be announced route for High Speed Rail and station location in Manchester will also be a boost to longer term strategic planning and regeneration plans in the city.”

Picture courtesy of Wiki Commons, with thanks

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