Is Manchester a good place to live?

The Pros & Cons

Living in manchester

Manchester, an evolving and vibrant metropolis, has won the hearts of many. As a culture hub renowned for its nightlife, food scene, and friendly community, this charming city offers plenty of reasons to call it home.

Located in northern England, near the countryside and entertainment centre, Manchester is an accessible and bustling city. Whether you’re considering a city move or researching the best location choice, here’s our guide to the pros and cons of living in Manchester.

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Pros of living in Manchester

Affordable city living costs

Living in a city is undoubtedly more expensive than a small town or seaside location, however, the perks of city life put you in the heart of the action. The cost of living in Manchester can be affordable and varies based on your requirements, the area you choose to live in and property size. This city suits every budget, from newbie homeowners to those looking to downsize.

Considering the growth in popularity, the cost of living in Manchester is competitive and rising, although named one of the most affordable cities in the world. Compared to living in London, Manchester is around 30-40% cheaper.

The average cost of living for a single person without rent or mortgage is around £800 a month, and rent can vary from £1,000-1,500 per month. Although, compared to London, the rental prices in Manchester are 52% cheaper, whilst consumer goods are 22% cheaper.

For property prices in Greater Manchester, the average price is £259,179, although that can increase or decrease depending on the borough you’re looking to buy in.

Job opportunities

With its growing popularity, the northern gem offers a thriving job scene with many of the biggest brands. Working in the city offers varied industries, from finance, marketing, law, and hospitality to entertainment. Whether you’re looking to sink your teeth into a startup or join one of the UK’s most extensive names, Manchester has many opportunities to make your own.

As a competitive market, you’ll experience a combination of eager entrepreneurs, successful food businesses, and more established, traditional industry jobs.

The city’s culture

The dynamic city comes alive, day to night, with an endless list of things to see, do and experience. From an eclectic food scene with street food, coffee shops and restaurants to an electric nightlife bubble, hospitality-wise, you’re in the right place to have fun. Manchester has a buzz about it like no other city with its vibrant appeal, theatre shows, gigs, museums and many other attractions.

Aside from the activities in store, the people of Manchester give the city its friendly name. You’ll come across a community of welcoming folk and an inclusive environment with a small-town feel in a big city.

Public transport connections

Getting around Manchester is a breeze with its practical public transport connections, including buses, trams and trains. The city has two primary national rail stations to transport you across the UK, various local stations to navigate yourself around the city and beyond and eight tram lines. The bus system is also valuable, dotted around town and taking you wherever you need. With an easy-to-navigate public transportation system, travelling around is made easy.

Central location

Living in Manchester means you’re in the centre of the action, and everything is within reach. From your favourite music venue, restaurants, and bars to endless activities, days out are simple to organise. Whilst the central location is practical for pleasure, Manchester is also near four national parks, meaning a glimpse of the countryside isn’t too far away.

Flying off on holiday is also convenient, with easy access to Manchester Airport. Known as the biggest in the UK outside of London, you’ll have your selection of tropical destinations and European cities to choose from.

Growing investment for cyclists

In the past, Manchester wasn’t an accessible place for cyclist commuters because of the cycle lanes shortage. Yet, recently, the city has begun investing in cycling infrastructure to make this possible, with more lanes and safer routes to cycle around. You can get your daily dose of vitamin D on the commute rather than stick to traditional transport methods.

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Cons of living in Manchester

Lower salaries

Manchester may be the up-and-coming place to live, with plenty of job opportunities and a cultural hub to be a part of. However, salaries can be slightly lower than in other cities, especially compared to the capital of London. The average salary in Manchester is £37,499 a year, with entry-level positions at £27,500 and the most experienced workers earning up to £57.500 annually. The average salary in London varies however, a standard figure is around £44,000.

Student-friendly city

Manchester has an affordable tagline and is known as a student city. Home to four universities, this city is a student paradise with plenty of reasonable accommodation, inexpensive places to eat and drink, and activities to enjoy. The ‘student-friendly’ buzz means the city is busy, with a young appeal and crowds wherever you go. On the flip side, Manchester has some of the best universities if you’re looking to go back to university for your Master's or PhD qualification.

The weather

The UK is undoubtedly rainy, with cold and wet days the norm. In Manchester, especially, the weather is constantly grey and drizzling, and blue-sky days aren’t too common. But the weather doesn’t mean living in Manchester is gloomy, as the locals make the most of the rainy days and invest in a good umbrella.

Busy traffic

For any city, preparation for traffic is key, especially in rush hour, and Manchester is no different. The trams, for example, are usually heaving in rush hour, and getting a seat is tricky. Cars, buses and trains are similar when commuting or travelling in peak periods.

Is Manchester a good place to live?

When you outweigh the pros and cons, there are many areas to consider for your lifestyle, career and future financial goals. Whether you’re thinking of purchasing your first property, gaining your Master’s at university or relocating your family, life in the city has excellent traction and appeal for all.

Manchester offers many high points, providing an easily accessible, fun place to live with job prospects, a sense of community and a central location to travel as much as you please. If London is too expensive and you fancy something different, a northern move may be the answer.

With that in mind, like any move, you want to be prepared and know what you’re going into, such as living costs in Manchester, the culture and how your life will look somewhere new. Evaluate if any of the con points are relevant to you and if they will impact you financially on your move.

Overall, Manchester can provide you with the answer to a new, exciting and prosperous home, especially before it gains even more popularity.

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