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Moving to… Manchester

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From two of the world’s biggest football teams, to bands like Oasis and The Stone Roses, from Michelin star restaurants to thriving business centres, Manchester has a pull like few other cities in Europe. Whether you’re moving for work, to study or settle down with a new family, this truly is a place with something for everyone. As the second most populated city in the UK, Manchester sits as the North’s alternative to London with plenty preferring their stay in the North West to that in the Nation’s capital.

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History of Manchester

Manchester began as a Roman settlement over 2,000 years ago and has since grown into an industrial and economic powerhouse. This was where the Industrial Revolution really took hold, with much of its 19th Century wealth coming from cotton production. The city has been a beacon of education, boasting some of the country’s most famed universities while also being the stage for important political movements such as the Suffragettes. Since 1990, the city has undergone extensive regeneration and as a result plenty of businesses have chosen to leave the smoke of London to make Manchester their home. Sports, music and culture have always held place as the soul of Manchester with many world famous names making this city their muse.

Where is Manchester?

160 miles northwest of London, Manchester sits in an area bordered to the north and east by the Pennines. The city is 35 miles north-east of Liverpool and 35 miles north-west of Sheffield.

Buying a home in Manchester

Last year, the average price of a property in Manchester was £247,000. The majority of homes sold in the city were semi-detached houses, selling for an average of £269,000. Terraced properties were sold for an average of £209,000 while a flat was around £197,000.

Generally, the property market in Manchester is moving in an upwards trajectory, with prices rising 13% compared to the year before and 24% compared to 2018.

As can be expected, some areas of Manchester are more expensive than others with the most expensive areas being Didsbury & Withington, Deansgate, Chorlton-cum-Hardy and Sale.

Renting a property in Manchester

If you’re not quite at the stage where you’re looking to buy, you may wish to rent. As can be expected, rental prices will vary from area to area, however here are the average costs of renting a property in Manchester:

  • One bedroom property – £912pcm
  • Two bedroom property – £1,152pcm
  • Three bedroom property – £1,275pcm
  • Four bedroom property – £1,615pcm
  • Five bedroom property – £1,952pcm

Cost of living in Manchester

As the UK’s second most popular city, the cost of living in Manchester is the highest in the North of England. In fact, for the most part, Manchester is reasonably similar to London for cost of living, albeit falling on the slightly cheaper side.

In Manchester, you can expect to pay around £3 for your morning coffee, £4 for a pint of beer in a pub and around £60 for a mid-range meal for two in a restaurant.

If you want to travel around the city, you can buy a one-way ticket for £2.95 and a monthly travel pass for £80.

In regards to utilities, to cater for a 85m² property, your heating, gas, water and electricity will cost in the region of £158 per month.

City of Manchester

What’s it like living in Manchester?

Now that you know what it costs to live in Manchester, let’s take a look at what you can do when you’re there.


Manchester’s nightlife is famed and you’ll be spoilt for choice with the sheer number of bars and clubs. Whether you’re looking for a quiet pint after work or to dance the night away, there’s something for every type of evening.

Manchester’s bohemian quarter is an area that’s quickly gaining in popularity but there are still plenty of spots where you can escape the crowds. Head over to the Northern Quarter to find a wide range of independent bars and restaurants that are so good you’ll want to keep them a secret.

If you’re looking to treat yourself to a cocktail or two and some of the best dining the city has to offer, we recommend taking a look at Spinningfields where you’ll find an exciting display of bars and restaurants.

Manchester is also renowned for its LGBTQ+ nightlife scene with Canal Street and The Gay Village being the life and soul of the party. Here you’ll find a cobble stoned street bordering the canal full to the brim with exciting bars and clubs offering a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere.


You can’t talk Manchester without talking football. The city is home to two of the world’s biggest football teams. Whether you lean towards the history laden reds, the new-kids-on-the-block sky blues, or simply enjoy the sport as a neutral, it’s impossible not to be caught up in the fanfare of match day.

The city isn’t just for the football enthusiasts though. Here, you’ll find everything from athletics, cricket, netball, rugby, squash and even water polo too. The city is also host to the famed British cycling team, as well as National centres for cycling, lacrosse, taekwondo and more.

Manchester has plenty of great walking and cycling routes, however the city is generally too large to be walking distance.

The city benefits from a range of bus, tram and train routes which run from early morning to late in the evening. It’s quick and easy to get from the city centre to other neighbouring areas like Oldham, Rochdale and Wigan. The city’s train stations also benefit from excellent links to other points of interest around the UK, including direct trains to London in as little as 2 hours 32 minutes.

What’s not to like about Manchester?

We’ve talked a lot about what to love about Manchester, but not every city is perfect, so it’s only fair that we shine a little light on what’s not to like about the city.

If you’re not a fan of students, this may not be the spot for you. Manchester has four universities all within a close proximity of each other, meaning that this is very much a student area. This can be seen in the many student focussed club events and nights.

Manchester is also well known for its rain. If you’re thinking of moving to the UK’s second most populated city, make sure you bring an umbrella because you’ll be sure to need it.

Finally, despite Manchester being a thriving economic centre similar to London, the wages are lower than that in the capital. This can be frustrating for many who move to the city for greater opportunities but find themselves earning less than their counterparts down South.

A good alternative might be Stoke-on-Trent which could be cheaper to live in than Manchester. It has beautiful nearby countryside’s, and a close-knit community feel. It’s also well-placed for traveling to big cities, making it a great choice for a quieter, more affordable life.

Typical broadband speeds in Manchester

The average broadband speed in Manchester is 34.57 Mbps. This is 6.34% below the UK’s national average of 36.91 Mbps.

Crime rate in Manchester

Manchester sees a 38% higher crime rate vs the national average with violent crimes making uo 26.8% of all crime in the city. Crime rate in the city is on the increase too, with the number of crimes growing by 6% year on year.

Thinking of moving to Manchester?

If you’re thinking about moving to Manchester, you may wish to understand more about the specific area you’re moving to. Try the Move iQ property report to get an in-depth look at the local amenities, crime rates, property prices and more. Simply enter a postcode and we’ll find up-to-date data for that area.

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Last Updated: April 12th, 2024