Jobs, culture and affordable housing luring Londoners to Manchester

General view of Manchester city centre from the top of Manchester Town Hall

General view of Manchester city centre from the top of Manchester Town Hall - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Signs that the reverse brain drain which has been threatened for some time as a result of London’s housing crisis may actually be taking effect have emerged this week.

A report from home moving service showed that the number of people moving from London to Manchester has surpassed traffic in the other direction at a ratio of 1.5:1 for the past five years.

The proportion of people moving up north has also doubled from five to 10 per cent since this time last year.

London’s spiralling housing market, which increasingly locks out first time buyers, can be blamed for the exodus of people from the city, while Manchester’s main pull factor is its varied and relatively thriving jobs market.

Byron Manning, senior negotiator at Jordan Fishwick in Didsbury, said: “There’s been a bit of a trend developing over the last 12 months.

“With it being such a strong vendors’ market in London, when you’ve got people spending two years trying to buy a property and then getting gazumped, they’re realising that they should follow the commentators’ advice and move up north.

“There’s always a steady stream of people realising that the North is far superior to the South – or at least Manchester is. We’ve been banging on about this for 200 years, we’ve got everything London’s got but on a smaller scale.”

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Ruth Evans, 30, a broadcast journalist, moved from a house share in Stroud Green to a similar set up in south Manchester three years ago to join her boyfriend, Chris, who had moved with work.

She said: “With all the media opportunities provided by the BBC’s move there, it was a good time to go.

“My rent is probably between half and a third of what I used to pay in London but, more importantly, I’ve got the option of buying, which I don’t think I’d have been able to do in London

“I do miss London but Manchester is a great place to live as well. There’s a lot going on.

“You can get the train out to the Peak District or the Lakes in 20 minutes. There’s a lot of culture too and there’s interesting art, good places to eat and you’ve got a lot more money to enjoy these things because living costs are cheap.

“Although I still spend a lot of money on trains to London.”