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Barnsey

Manchester Periphery, Bubble Or Not?

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I'm a FTBer becoming increasingly angry at the insane price madness in the SE since 2012, now looking at the very real possibility of moving up to the Manchester area for work should London not see significant falls anytime soon. Returning to Edinburgh/Lothians is my other option but lot's of uncertainty with that decision and not exactly a bargain.

Would greatly appreciate your thoughts on which areas of Cheshire/Lancashire/Derbyshire look bubbly and which don't at the moment as I'm seeing some quite distinct differences between certain towns and villages. The more affluent areas South of Manc and East of the M6 are definitely looking a bit bubbly since 2011/12 however from what I can see areas to the west of the M6 like Sandbach and Northwich are looking quite steady and reasonable since the crash, even Congleton and Holmes Chapel to the East looking ok. Obviously distance plays it's part but would be interesting to hear your current views on the situation up there compared to the SE. Is fracking an issue at all for some of the cheaper areas, or are there any economic factors such as large businesses closing that have kept prices steady?

New Mills/Glossop also quite appealing but understand traffic to be a nightmare, rains a lot (hence the mills?) and New Mills yet another area looking a bit expensive now.

We're popping up again over Easter weekend, staying in Warrington, to have another good ol' nosey around various places, budget would be 250k ideally for a standard 3 bed in a decent area which pretty much means the nice parts of Manc are out of reach and a fair commute will be needed, missus doesn't drive (yet) so a railway station is ideal.

I just have a bad feeling the optimism on here for a housing price correction with everything going on in the World still won't reverse the 50% increases i've seen in areas around London I hoped to *just about* be able to afford back in 2012 whilst saving a deposit, now that I've finally got my 10% together I despair at what i'm seeing and continue to pay my £1k in rent per month with no way out :(

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Your assumptions for New Mills and Glossop are spot on, horrific traffic congestion.. I know people who have moved here from London and the SE and they can't believe that the traffic is even worse here! and very dismal localized weather, it can be a lovely day just 5 miles to the East or West but Glossop seems to just sit under a permanent blanket of grey cloud thanks to it's proximity to the hills.

Also both towns have a very high quota of chav scum and subsequently quite high levels of property crime and anti social behaviour.

Added to that property prices are quite high compared to other nearby towns and I'd definitely say it's a location best avoided.

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Thanks Mike that's pretty much the assumption I had when visiting those areas in the past, property prices definitely high for what you get, I suppose the train link is rather good which must be supporting it. It's hard to believe traffic being that bad anywhere outside of London but it does seem to be a bit of a unique case around Glossop. I expect the A6 is almost as bad coming up from the Peak District towns?

Marple back in 2011/12 was an area I was interested in but that's gone HPI mad! Saw a listing appear recently for a house I'd seen back in 2014 which was £179k now on for £240k and all they'd done was replace the front door.

Seems any reasonably safe areas within a short distance of Manchester have jumped singificantly (for the NW) whereas anywhere that bit further away have just stagnated. It probably comes as a bit of a shock to many Southerner's eyes to see the reality of a northern equivalent of Guildford not actually far off Guildford prices. Doesn't help that they're all moving up after various articles in MSM, I say "they" as I'm merely a pleb from Aberdeen so technically still a Northerner to Northerners :P

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M60/61/62 are all pretty bad at rush hour. I would not recommend driving into central Manchester daily, unless your job allows you to start extra early or late. Weekends are fine though if you want to head up north to the lakes or Trough of Bowland, but there's risk of getting an inaccurate picture of it if you visit over the Easter weekend. The railway from the north is also pretty bad and overcrowded although they are improving the line and electrifying it at some point so it could improve. Ribble Valley, Clitherore and further north are nice and you should be able to get something reasonable for 250K but I wouldn't want to live there unless I worked locally or was retired.

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You dont mention schools etc. Notwithstanding, for around 250K for a 3 bed semi in a "nice" area with quickish frequent trains into Mcr then you could look at Cheadle hulme & Bramhall or Sale to the SW.

In my lifetime the expensive areas have remained expensive (relatively and probably increased in desirability) and the less expensive also remained so.

I hate commuting so would always choose the easiest/minimal commute and spend money saved on house. I accept many people from SE in particular are used to it.

There are quite a few threads on this or similar topics over the years if you have a search. The responses tend to be similar too.

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Many thanks for your responses, the traffic wouldn't be an issue all the time as I work shifts 24/7, my current commute from SW into central London (just 8 miles) can range from 25 mins to 1 hr 30 mins so I'd like to think driving into Manchester wouldn't be "quite" as bad.

Schools not an issue as no kids (yet), but of course the consideration is there to base ourselves somewhere relatively safe and child friendly for the near future.

To be honest I'd written off Sale/Bramhall/Cheadle as just assumed they'd gone HPI mental since I was last looking. Will definitely rethink those as possibilities. Have been reading various posts regarding this topic over the past 3 years or so and much of them always come back to Wilmslow/Knutsford/Altrincham and perhaps Stockton Heath/Marple, all of which are pretty much outside my budget of 250k max.

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You mention the A6, it can get pretty busy (the difference between a quiet time and a busy one on it to Stockport is half an hour for me, or downright impossible a couple of times when the roadworks have added lights), but it's tolerable if you're flexible enough to avoid the busiest times (then again I'm generally not in a hurry). I don't know whether the currently under construction airport link road will make it better or worse (it might take some traffic out of Hazel Grove).

Edited by Riedquat

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Having focused in on areas much closer to Manchester prices are definitely up a fair bit since the recession, many of the 250k 3 beds I'm looking at were on for anything between 170-200 just 2 or 3 years ago. Would make me slightly nervous to buy in the near future as most certain we're in for another crash in the next year or two. Then again if we did move up we'd rent initially, can't hang about too long now I'm in my thirties though. Much to mull over.

Anything particularly bad about Flixton/Urmston area? Seems quite nice other than the sewage works although I assume Davyhulme gets the worst of it?

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I think you've got a good grasp of the areas. Some are HPI crazy, and some relatively steady.


But like you say stuff that was offered at £200K a couple of years back is now up for £250K.


Flixton/Urmston are good. Getting into Manchester is better than most of the other areas you mentioned.


Macclesfield might be worth a look, train to Manchester. Hazel Grove and Romiley too. I don't think Marple's gone too crazy, but I have seen a couple go SSTC for silly money.


With your budget you should be fine, loads of options. There are pockets of more expensive areas, but lots where £180K up will give you most things you need too.


Is renting in an area first an option?

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Absolutely, we'd rent for 12 months or so which would obviously give us plenty of time to figure areas out. Macclesfield a good shout, have yet to drive through there but understand it's got very good rail links so that'll definitely now be a stop on our trip at Easter, many thanks!

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Flixton/Urmston/West Davyhulme are good, treatment works smell in summer seems to be concentrated in East Davyhulme around the motorway. There are pockets of bubbliness and renovate-flipping on certain desirable roads, but generally steady.

I too thought Sale had gone HPI mad since early 2014, but maybe a lot of it is kite silly flying prices (i.e 3 bed semi £350k when bought for £250k in 2014, no improvements). Actually if you search for £230-250k houses in M33 there are some quite decent semis and terraces in that bracket, not dissimilar pricing to 2014.

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Absolutely, we'd rent for 12 months or so which would obviously give us plenty of time to figure areas out. Macclesfield a good shout, have yet to drive through there but understand it's got very good rail links so that'll definitely now be a stop on our trip at Easter, many thanks!

It's on the main line between London and Manchester and a lot of the trains seem to stop there (not that I'd use the word "good" to describe anything about the modern railway, but that's by the by). It can get rather congested driving, like with the A6 that may get better or worse with the airport link road (if the Poynton bypass gets built that'll help but I don't know what the situation is with that).

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Had a great weekend up in the Manchester area, did plenty of area exploring and came to the conclusion we like the look of Lymm (no station is a problem) and Holmes Chapel (bit too isolated and quiet?) the most but prices are right at the top end for us. Hartford area of Northwich very nice too but again right near the top of our budget.

The nicer but not "posh" parts of Warrington (stop laughing) seemed the best compromise for convenience, price and choice i.e. Kingswood/Whittle Hall areas.

Thanks again for all your help I'm sure we'll be back up again in the summer.

Edited by Barnsey

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Caution with the treatment works....it really does depend which way the wind blows, and its very unpleasant. Youve got a good handle on the general area, Northwich Id say no to, it really is a bit of a trek to get anywhere. Dont dismiss Warrington due to the warped snobbery on here. Great train service to Manchester and Liverpool, (25 mins), 1hr 50 to London Euston, 2 international airports within 30 mins, a consistantly growing economy since the 1980s, motorway network great for North Wales the Lakes, etc and lots of good value for money property in decent outskirting areas. If working in Manchester, Id stick to the NE side near Junction 11. Gorse Covert is the best of the 'new town' development on that side, and therefore slighly higher values, but its quiet, great primary school, no through traffic at all, (you only go to Gorse Covert to go to Gorse Covert), surrounded by countryside a farms, and far enough away from the town centre benefit/poverty pockets (doesnt every town have those?) Also just 1 junction up from Ikea! Good luck with your search.

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Caution with the treatment works....it really does depend which way the wind blows, and its very unpleasant. Youve got a good handle on the general area, Northwich Id say no to, it really is a bit of a trek to get anywhere. Dont dismiss Warrington due to the warped snobbery on here. Great train service to Manchester and Liverpool, (25 mins), 1hr 50 to London Euston, 2 international airports within 30 mins, a consistantly growing economy since the 1980s, motorway network great for North Wales the Lakes, etc and lots of good value for money property in decent outskirting areas. If working in Manchester, Id stick to the NE side near Junction 11. Gorse Covert is the best of the 'new town' development on that side, and therefore slighly higher values, but its quiet, great primary school, no through traffic at all, (you only go to Gorse Covert to go to Gorse Covert), surrounded by countryside a farms, and far enough away from the town centre benefit/poverty pockets (doesnt every town have those?) Also just 1 junction up from Ikea! Good luck with your search.

Do you have a house to sell at Gorse Covert or something?

Not ideal if you dislike the constant drone of motorway traffic in the distance. 30mins+ walk to shops/train station. Bus service to Warrington will make you want to kill yourself as you go round the houses so to speak. It is extra-urban drive everywhere -ville. Pleasant enough but dull, dull, dull.

Nice park, mind.

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Do you have a house to sell at Gorse Covert or something?

Not ideal if you dislike the constant drone of motorway traffic in the distance. 30mins+ walk to shops/train station. Bus service to Warrington will make you want to kill yourself as you go round the houses so to speak. It is extra-urban drive everywhere -ville. Pleasant enough but dull, dull, dull.

Nice park, mind.

Oh heavens. Do people who use buses live there? Ignore my recommendation OP.....

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You could drive to Manchester in the 45mins it takes a bus get to the local urban hub, rush hours excluded. Not that I recommend anyone choses to live in Warrington and work in Manchester - Not a snobbish sleight on those locations other than to say the traffic is quite poor.

For those of us without chauffeurs the local bus service could be important.

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For those of us without chauffeurs the local bus service could be important.

Tram network is huge now.

The park and ride by us is full every day during the week.

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Pretty gobsmacked at what I'm seeing in Glossop now... since 2008 and probably longer it has been a slow/stagnant market with even reasonable houses at sensible prices usually taking at least 6-12 months to sell.

From early 2015 the market has just gone mental... a massive drop in stock levels (down 50% for sk13 in the last 2 years) and prices seem to be up 20-30% on just 12 months ago, with most properties now going sstc within a couple of weeks.

Haven't got a clue what's driving or supporting it, local jobs are scarce and crap, nothing but part-time nmw and the transport links haven't improved at all.

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Pretty gobsmacked at what I'm seeing in Glossop now... since 2008 and probably longer it has been a slow/stagnant market with even reasonable houses at sensible prices usually taking at least 6-12 months to sell.

From early 2015 the market has just gone mental... a massive drop in stock levels (down 50% for sk13 in the last 2 years) and prices seem to be up 20-30% on just 12 months ago, with most properties now going sstc within a couple of weeks.

Haven't got a clue what's driving or supporting it, local jobs are scarce and crap, nothing but part-time nmw and the transport links haven't improved at all.

Must be all this northern shithouse stuff. The allure of resolving the traffic bottleneck and better trains is giving a pre-emptive boost.

Everyone's a speculator.

Edited by 24 year mortgage 8itch

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Apologies in advance for the rant folks...

Just returned from another trip up to the Manchester area, much more focused this time around on specific areas but came away completely deflated. Just want to reiterate that I'm from the grim North North (Aberdeen) so have experienced my fair share of deprived events/people growing up. My comments are purely in relation to house prices and perceived value vs safety and earning potential. Budget of around £250k for a 3 bed semi.

I think the current situation I experience in London as a long term renter is of HPI disbelief yet core understanding of London's place as a capital city in the World. It's wealth and importance for Tourism keeps the city clean, homelessness down (or at least barely visible), and perception of personal safety, aside from the ever growing risk of Terrorism, relatively good. My rent is £200 more per month than an equivalent property in an equivalent area of Manchester.

We may have just had a bad weekend, but it really is shocking to see the level of homelessness and drug use in Manchester. I'm struggling right now to think of a comparitive location I've visited in the past 10 years or so in England. Glasgow still retains the crown for me in terms of the UK overall. After witnessing a couple of shoplifting events in the Arndale Centre, a foot chase through the Printworks, and a woman having a dump in the Northern Quarter in a side street, we had lunch, and discussed our dilemma.

I'm a life long fan of Manchester, next best thing to London in terms of variety and access, people MUCH friendlier, but I just despair at house prices in the nicer areas as they seem MORE detached from the perceived wealth of the city than London. Prices in Urmston are now pushing £400k, Marple the same. All the cars we saw in one street in Prestwich (not the most reliable indicator of "wealth" I know) were in very bad shape yet the 3 bed house we gazed upon was up for 400k, well out of our budget, at least £50k needing spent on refurbishment.

Really don't want to come across snobby, maybe 12 years of the South has softened me up much more than I have realised, but I think the HPI wall hit me very hard this time around, and ultimately I felt sorry for the hard working people of Manchester, clearly locked into renting for the rest of their lives unless prices crash hard in the "family friendly" areas.

Warrington was more successful for us, but still steep for the local wages, and a bugger of a commute to a job that doesn't pay as well as down here, so some adjustment to get used to. I think it's time to accept that value for money relative to salary, outside parts of Wales and the NE, just doesn't exist now?

Here's hoping Brexit, once it actually kicks in, restores some sense of normality to the housing market of Manchester, even if prices dropped back to their 2011 levels which is where our wages are pretty much stuck at (i.e. 3 bed house we saw in Urmston, up for £395k, previously sold for £275k in 2011)

Edited by Barnsey

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That's unusual for Urmston though, it does have a handful of desirable roads that you could pay a massive premium for ,  but most 3 beds in Urmston are up for 220k -270k , again you pay a big premium for period properties like anywhere else, there is some value to be found in Urmston if your not too bothered about kerb appeal, and large gardens are quite common for 1930s semis where they back on to the meadows or allotments. The down side to living here is all the development going on by Peel Holdings, more retail units around the Trafford centre and a billion pound Trafford Waters development has just been approved, flats/retail/office space to further snarl up the roads.

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