June 17 2021
The city that gave us Oasis, Coronation Street and Emmeline Pankhurst, Manchester is a Northern powerhouse that offers residents affordable housing, strong career opportunities and an abundance of entertainment and cultural offerings. It’s easy to see why many people are considering moving to Manchester.
From great transport links to the rolling countryside, eclectic nightlife and restaurants to satisfy even the most discerning of ‘foodie’, Manchester has it all. The birthplace of the industrial revolution, the city has an exciting and eclectic vibe, attracting people from all places and walks of life. The result? A vibrant cultural hub with a friendly feel. With many large corporations now also based in the city, Manchester is the ideal place to set down roots. Thinking of relocating? We’ve put together a handy guide covering everything you need to know, including:
- Popular areas to live
- Cost of living in Manchester
- House prices
- Things to do in Manchester
- Travelling around Manchester
- Employment opportunities
- Moving to Manchester checklist
Where are the best areas to move to in Manchester?
For young professionals and couples:
With its array of stunning Victorian villas and abundance of green spaces (be sure to take a visit to the famous Fletcher Moss Botanical Gardens), the suburb of Didsbury is situated just miles from the city centre and is a haven for those striving for a metropolitan way of life with all the benefits of village living. Boasting a huge range of bars, pubs and independent shops and deli’s, it’s a trendy hotspot for those who work and play hard.
Experience the best of the city’s up-and-coming food, culture and entertainment scenes by moving to Ancoats. Sitting next to the Northern Quarter in the heart of Manchester, Ancoats is city centre living at its best, with thriving independent shops and a real sense of community. In 2021, it was even named one of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods by Time Out. It’s also perfect for trendsetters and those looking for co-working spaces in revamped cotton mills and riverside living.
For those looking to enjoy the excitement of city living whilst being a bit more detached from the centre, Salford offers a variety of housing options – from waterfront apartments to rural living and is often classed as one of the UK’s greenest cities. Investment in the area in recent years has seen a huge rise in new homes, retail and leisure facilities, while the development of MediaCityUK (the new home of ITV and the BBC) means that job opportunities are rising, making this up-and-coming area the perfect place to relocate to.
The Northern Quarter
There’s no doubt Manchester’s Northern Quarter is hip, and along with Ancoats, it’s earned its place among the most happening districts globally. Boasting a diverse range of fantastic bars, restaurants, and unique attractions, it offers a lively atmosphere for residents.
Here, you’ll find converted warehouses and old textile mills that have been transformed into vibrant residential spaces. The Northern Quarter is also known for being ahead of the curve, with its many vegan dining options and remains a sought-after place to live in the city.
If you’re looking for the best place to raise children, Sale was once voted the fourth best location to live in England. While not technically within the city limits, Sale is just 20 minutes away from the centre by tram, and its community spirit and green spaces mean it’s perfect for those looking for a bit of peace and quiet who don’t want to be too far from the action.
Crowned “the best place to live in the UK” by the Times, Altrincham is a family-friendly town with a thriving outdoor market, plenty of independent shops and cafes and a welcoming, community feel. Also, according to The Sunday Times Parent Power guide, the area is home to the two best schools in the North West – Altrincham Grammar School for Girls and Altrincham Grammar School for Boys.
A leafy suburb just 3 miles north of the city, Prestwich gives off a village vibe, while still being close to the hustle and bustle of Manchester. If you’re planning on moving to Manchester and raising a family – nearby Heaton Park will be a hit thanks to their animal centre.
Prestwich residents can also benefit from the fantastic access to the city centre via the Heaton Park Tramway while the area itself boasts some great pubs, restaurants and independent shops.
The cost of living in Manchester
When it comes to living in the city, the average cost is roughly 20.3% cheaper than in London, making it an ideal place to put down roots.
Buying a home:
House prices in Greater Manchester are constantly changing and can vary significantly across different areas of the region. Whether you’re a first-time buyer, looking to move up the property ladder, or curious about the value of your home, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the average house prices in your local area.
According to Rightmove, the mean price at which properties were sold in Manchester over the past year stands at approximately £304,104. The majority of houses sold were semi-detached, selling for an average of £332,968, while the average flat sold for £208,116 and terraced property £245,443.
Like anywhere, however, where you decide to live makes a huge difference to the cost of your home, and prices obviously depend on popularity too. For example, a 3-bedroom house in Disbury will cost anywhere between £300,000 and £650,000, while, in Hindley, a similar detached home will set you back between £120,000 and £350,000.
How much does it cost to rent?
While Manchester is undoubtedly cheaper than most major cities located in the South, there are, of course, more expensive and cheaper places to live. According to homelet, in August 2020, the average cost of renting in the North West as a whole was £781 per month, while home.co.uk lists that a 3 bedroom property in Manchester as, on average, costing £1,219. While Manchester is undoubtedly cheaper than most major cities located in the South, there are, of course, more expensive and cheaper places to live. According to HomeLet, in April 2023, the average cost of renting in the North West as a whole was £958 per month, while home.co.uk lists that a 3-bedroom property in Manchester as, on average, costing £1,965.
Saving on housing costs
There are plenty of ways to save money when buying or renting a property within Manchester. Like any other metropolitan area, living slightly outside of the city will mean cheaper house and rent prices, although you will have to factor in travelling costs, while for those who are moving alone, there are plenty of house share options and rooms to rent available on sites like Spareroom and Gumtree.
General living expenses
The cost of living in Manchester is generally considered more affordable compared to many other major cities in the UK, particularly those in the South. According to Numbeo, the cost of electricity, heating, and water, for a typical one-bedroom apartment comes in at around £220 per month.
When it comes to eating out, this can also vary, but in general, eating at a mid-range restaurant will cost around £60 for two people. As for transportation, a monthly pass for public transport can cost just over £70.
But what about the weekly shop? Well, this will depend on which supermarket you prefer to use. On average, however, you can expect to pay around £40 per week for those essential items.
Here’s how much some example groceries cost:
- Milk (1ltr) – £1.09
- Loaf of white bread £1.13
- Lettuce – 71p
- Apples (1kg) – £2.16
- Bottle of mid-range wine – £8
Things to do in Manchester
A city full of history, culture, arts and sport, Manchester delivers a punch when it comes to things to see and do.
The city is the perfect playground for food lovers and caters to a wide range of tastes, with an array of both haute cuisine and more casual restaurants. Time Out’s Manchester food guide lists the following as their top 5 restaurants in the city:
- OSMA – Manchester’s number-one restaurant, OSMA, offers a fusion of flavours and is heavily influenced by the city of Oslo. Head here for delicious small plates and a fine Sunday lunch (we’ve heard their roast potatoes are the best around).
- The Sparrows – serving an array of spätzle dishes (that’s German egg noodle pasta to us), The Sparrows team offer a welcoming dining experience. Although the real highlight is their culinary selection, the wine is great too. A little tip, book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
- Refuge by Volta – the brainchild of two renowned Manchester DJs, Refuge by Volta offers an eclectic mix of small and large plates intended for sharing. The restaurant also boasts a stunning interior which simply makes you want to go back. Don’t forget to indulge in the cocktail menu before enjoying your meal.
- Dishoom – A unique Irani-inspired café, Dishoom has captured the hearts of many serving up delicious home-style dishes within the remarkable setting of the Grade II-listed Manchester Hall. The menu showcases Indian street food and traditional dishes inspired by the nostalgic Irani cafés of Mumbai. Expect humble, hearty, and flavourful comfort food that truly hits the spot.
- Maray – Maray offers an effortless, laid-back vibe with exceptional dishes to match in a comfortable and unpretentious space. Visit for a dining experience bursting with Middle Eastern flavours, accompanied by friendly and knowledgeable staff. Make sure to try the Disco Cauliflower – as word would have it it’s the absolute best.
Manchester is also home to the famous curry mile which runs along Wilmslow Road in Rusholme and boasts an incredible array of the best Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi restaurants.
Bars and pubs
The average cost of a pint of beer in Manchester is about £4.00, meaning that, while it’s not the cheapest city in the UK, prices are low enough to enjoy a night out without digging too deep. The city is known for its buzzing nightlife, with an array of bars, pubs and clubs to suit every taste.
For cocktails, head to Spinngfields while The Northern Quarter is home to the city’s more independent offerings and those looking for a lively scene in a pretty railway setting should head to Deansgate locks.
Deep-rooted in the history of the city is the rivalry between Manchester City and Manchester United and fans can tour both stadiums while a trip to the National Football Museum is a must.
For those with other sporting interests, there are 11 golf courses in Greater Manchester, while the city is also home to National Centres for Cycling, Lacrosse, Squash, Taekwondo and Water Polo.
Museums and culture
From family-friendly attractions like the Science and Industry Museum and the Manchester Museum itself to more niche offerings such as the Museum of Transport and Hat Works in Stockport, Manchester is home to a wide variety of museums and exhibitions.
If you’re an architecture buff, a walk around the city will bring you face to face with some stunning buildings such as the Town Hall, Manchester Cathedral and John Rylands library. This self-guided walking tour is perfect for exploring the city in your own time.
Looking for something a bit different? The city is home to loads of attractions, activities and experiences to keep you busy. For example, why not take a tour around the Coronation Street set?
If you’re moving to Manchester and are looking for a retail fix, the city has an abundance of shops and boutiques. The thriving Northern Quarter contains an eclectic mix of independent shops and cafes, while for those looking for high street brands, market street, the Trafford Centre and Manchester Arndale have you covered.
Travelling around Manchester
Despite being a major city, getting around Manchester is remarkably straightforward. The city offers a variety of transportation options, many of which are budget-friendly:
- Tram – the Metrolink tram system is a popular choice for getting around Manchester. It serves various parts of the city and extends to neighbouring towns like Bury, Altrincham, and Eccles. Trams also operate frequently, providing a convenient and efficient way to travel within Manchester and the surrounding areas.
- Bus – Manchester’s bus network is comprehensive, with numerous routes covering the city and its suburbs. Buses are operated by various companies, offering regular services throughout the day and night. The availability of bus stops is also widespread, making it relatively easy to navigate around the city using this mode of transport.
- Bike – in Manchester, the city council takes an active role in promoting cycling as a sustainable mode of transport by providing dedicated lanes and paths. Not only is this an affordable method, but it’s also good for your health – head to The Bee Network to find out more.
- Car – although Manchester has a well-connected road network, including major highways and arterial roads, the traffic can be a challenge at the best of times. Your best bet? Cycle or walk, or why not get a monthly travel pass?
- Train – if you need to get out of the city, Manchester is served by several different train stations, with major cities such as Liverpool, Leeds and London a relatively short ride away.
- Plane – similarly, Manchester Airport is situated just outside of the city centre and can be reached by tram, train or bus – ideal for those who like to travel a bit further afield.
If you’re planning a move to Manchester, researching schools for your children is essential. Luckily, we’ve already done the hard work for you.
10 of the best primary schools in the region:
- St Thomas of Canterbury RC Primary School – Ofsted Grade 1: Outstanding
- Holy Family VA RC Primary School – Ofsted Grade 1: Outstanding
- Seymour Park Community Primary School – Ofsted Grade 1: Outstanding
- St Alphonsus RC Primary School – Ofsted Grade 1: Outstanding
- Manley Park Primary School – Ofsted Grade 1: Outstanding
- St Wilfrid’s RC Primary School – Ofsted Grade 2: Good
- St Anne’s RC Primary School – Ofsted Grade 2: Good
- Our Lady’s RC Primary School Manchester – Ofsted Grade 2: Good
- Lower Kersal Community Primary School – Ofsted Grade 2: Good
- Kings Road Primary School – Ofsted Grade 2: Good
The top high schools in Manchester:
- Loreto College – Ofsted Grade 1: Outstanding
- Xaverian College – Ofsted Grade 1: Outstanding
- Trinity CofE High School – Ofsted Grade 1: Outstanding
- Trafford College Group – Ofsted Grade 2: Good
- Connell Co-Op College – Ofsted Grade 2: Good
Employment opportunities in Manchester
Known as the birthplace of the industrial revolution, Manchester is now home to a wide range of businesses and corporations – from independent disruptors to global powerhouses and has one of the largest economies in England.
Media, digital and creative
The BBC moved their regional base from London to bases in Manchester, while ITV also has headquarters at Salford’s MediaCityUK. There is also an abundance of creative roles available throughout the city in the form of marketing, arts, design and digital companies.
Finance and professional services
Manchester is home to the largest regional financial, professional and business services (FPBS) industry outside of London, employing more than 280,000 people, and these industries account for around 20% of the local economy. The city itself is home to world-leading companies such as Natwest, Barclays, Klarna and MoneySuperMarket, while there are more FinTech startups and scaleups in the region than anywhere else in the UK.
Production and manufacturing
From clothing to food, beer to chemicals, brands such as Kellogg’s, Siemens, Unilever and Jaguar Land Rover are all based in the city while Manchester’s thriving infrastructure places it as one of the best places in the country for innovation and business development.
“Manchester is at the heart of the UK’s largest manufacturing and advanced engineering cluster; the Northern Powerhouse.”Invest in Manchester
Moving to Manchester: Checklist
1. Decide where you’ll move
Depending on your job and budget, first you’ll need to pick a location to live in. Use our information above, or take a look through these guides for more information:
- The 20 best places to live in Manchester according to residents
- 10 Best Places to Live in Manchester
- A guide to living in Manchester
Don’t forget to check out the local healthcare options in your area, such as doctors and dentists, before you decide to move at www.nhs.uk.
2. Pack your belongings
Packing for a move can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! Take a look through our handy moving house checklist to tick off those things you may have missed, while you can also find out how to pack fragile items for a house move for the best way to keep your items safe and secure while travelling.
3. Hire a removals firm
Whether you’re moving from close by or are travelling the length of the country, chances are you’ll need a removals company to help when moving to Manchester. We also work exclusively with Enterprise to offer van hire deals to our customers to help you with your move.
4. Use self storage while you find your ideal place or are renovating your new house
When moving, a lot of people like to rent first to get a better feel of the areas they may want to live in for a longer period of time. If this is the case, there’s no point forking out for a larger place if you’re not planning on staying too long. Similarly, if you have purchased a house or flat that needs a bit of TLC, navigating renovations with a house full of stuff can be a nightmare.
Making full use of self storage is the perfect way to free up some space while moving house and getting settled. Read our top tips for packing a storage unit or organising a unit now to make the most of your space.
5. Enjoy your new home!
Relocating to a new area can be daunting, but it’s also an exciting time. Navigating somewhere unfamiliar, getting lost and finding your new favourite cafes, bars, restaurants and shops is all part of the fun of moving, so make sure you give yourself some spare time to explore your new home – you might even stumble across a hidden gem.
Why store with us?
If you’re looking for somewhere to store your belongings as you move to Manchester, we’re here to lend a hand. With a range of self storage unit sizes, some extras to help you on your way and a range of unit sizes, store with us today. Here’s why:
- Two store locations: we have two self storage facilities on offer if you’re moving to Manchester – our Manchester Central store located on Willerby Road, and our Worsely store which is just outside the city centre.
- Only pay for what you need: our flexible self storage solutions allow you to scale up or down your storage depending on your individual needs. Simply get in touch with your local store and they’ll be able to help you change the size of your unit.
- Simple sign up and registration: all of our self storage facilities now offer contactless sigin-up and move-ins.
- Security as standard: we work hard to ensure your belongings are always safe, which is why all of our stores offer extensive security measures, including 24-hour CCTV monitoring, while most of our stores also offer PIN code access to customers for added safety.
- 24-hour-access to your unit: we know that everyone’s schedule is different, which is why we offer 24-hour access at the majority of our stores
- Excellent customer service: our friendly team of storage experts are always on hand to help – simply contact us on 0800 321 3211 or get your online quote now.
- Helpful extras: from trolleys and lift access to packing materials, shelves and racking and on-site parking, we make it as easy and convenient as possible for you to access your belongings and make the most of your storage space.
Whether you’re decorating your new home, or need somewhere to store your belongings while you get settled, our range of self storage units are ideal no matter your individual needs. Contact our Manchester self storage facility now for more detailed information, or get in touch with our team today to find out more about us and what we can offer.