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Northern Powerhouse sees ‘building boom’

Words: Huw Morris
Manchester / Shutterstock: 770221009

Northern cities are witnessing a ‘building boom’ with Manchester leading the way, according to an economic analysis for the Royal Mail.

Other Northern Powerhouse towns and cities, including Leeds, Salford, Liverpool and Wigan are close behind Manchester, which is the epicentre of the boom with 9,127 schemes in the past three years.

According to the Centre for Economics and Business Research analysis of the Royal Mail’s ‘Not Yet Built’ database, which compiles new developments, this reflects growing confidence in the Northern Powerhouse idea.

Housing is the main driving force behind the surge across the country with other construction activity benefiting from the boom including office space, which saw a 92 per cent increase in the past five years, schools and universities with 35 per cent and entertainment venues, ranging from theatres to bowling alleys, at 62 per cent.

Birmingham, Edinburgh, the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and Wiltshire local authorities have seen a particularly high surge in schemes in the past three years with on average 8,303 new developments in each area.

In the past five years the value of constructed housing has doubled. Tower Hamlets recorded the largest rise in new homes, with a 14 per cent upturn between 2010 and 2017, followed by Corby at 11 per cent.

Flats are the fastest-growing type of new housing to be built and now account for almost a quarter of UK residences. Detached houses have also seen growth of 4 per cent in the past five years.

Across England and Wales, the top 15 local authorities with the highest share of properties as flats are in Greater London. In the City of London, 98 per cent of residential properties are flats. However, towns and cities on the South Coast also feature highly, with flats making up half of the properties in Brighton and Hove and Bournemouth.

Image credit | Shutterstock