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A guide to Manchester’s neighbourhoods for London leavers.

18 Sep 2019 | 3 min

Living in London can be an enormous drain on your finances, and an increasing number of people are swapping Big Smoke life for Greater Manchester. In fact, over 10,000 left for these parts in 2017 alone.

Many young professionals are realising they can build a successful career away from the bright lights of the capital. Helped, no doubt, by a booming jobs market, growing public transport infrastructure, and comparatively affordable property prices here in Manchester.

If you’re thinking of cutting the chord and joining the exodus north, you might be wondering where to live – so our quick guide is here to help.

Chorlton-cum-Hardy

Think: Highgate, Chiswick

Average price: £311,944

Affluent Chorlton is well-known among Mancunians for its lively local high street. It’s full of bijou bars, high-quality independent retailers, and plenty of places to find a great brunch come Saturday mornings.

It’s situated on two tram lines, so you can be in the city centre within 20 minutes, but in truth many of Chorlton’s trendy mums and young professionals already have everything they need within arm’s reach.

Prices reflect its popularity.

Prestwich

Think: Herne Hill

Average price: £235,776

Located to the north of the city, Prestwich is surrounded by parks on three sides – one of which, Heaton Park, hosts the annual Parklife festival.

It’s within easy reach of the M60 (so you can be in stunning countryside within 15 minutes), and is just 20 minutes from the city centre by tram. The local high street is home to plentiful bars and independent shops that give it a village-y feel, as do its many well-maintained period properties.

Prices are on the steep side for Manchester, but are very reasonable in the context of London.

Northern Quarter, City Centre

Think: Shoreditch

Average price: £207,195

The imaginatively-named Northern Quarter, home to many of Manchester’s media and digital agencies, is on the northern side of the city centre and the place to find Manchester’s coolest urbanites.

You’ll find plenty of off-the-wall eateries, hangouts, and vintage clothing outlets dotted among its many warehouse conversions and new-builds. City centre life isn’t for everyone, and nor is it especially cheap per-square-foot, but if you’re accustomed to apartment living you’ll feel right at home.

You also get the benefit of being within walking distance of the rest of the city centre, including buzzing nightlife, the Spinningfields business district, and all the major shops.

Levenshulme

Think: Peckham, New Cross

Average price: £150,058

Multicultural Levenshulme has long been talked-about as the next hotspot in south Manchester, and after a couple of false starts it looks like it’s finally taking off.

Just six minutes from Piccadilly by train and also served by a popular bus route, Levenshulme’s wide-paved high street, good schools, and affordable period homes have caught the imagination of those priced out of other parts.

Inspired by the success of the regular Saturday morning market, the rough-around-the-edges high street is slowly gentrifying, and house prices are following suit.

Salford Quays

Think: Canary Wharf

Average price: £169,349

Best known as the home of the BBC and MediaCityUK, Salford Quays is a former industrial area that’s been redeveloped over the last 20 years. It’s also home to the Lowry arts complex and many new-build apartments.

A short tram ride from the city centre and the canalside Castlefield conservation area, it’s just across the River Irwell that separates Salford from Manchester.

The abundance of affordable flats, and easy access to town, makes it hugely popular with young couples and single professionals. Much like Canary Wharf, it’s generally busier during the day than the evenings – so proves surprisingly peaceful once the sun goes down.

(Thanks to Zoopla for the average sales prices.)

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