Moving home has always been complicated enough in ordinary times. But when the pandemic hit, a significantly-sized spanner was thrown into the works to make the process even more convoluted than before.
Due to COVID regulations, many house viewings were either subject to a number of restrictions or stopped altogether.
Still, despite this huge hurdle for homebuyers, the property market has continued to tick over thanks to the launch of virtual viewings.
Initially, there was scepticism – with some claiming that people would never be sold on a new house with camera footage alone.
But it appears that virtual viewings have been far more successful than many expected.
According to recent research compiled by online estate agent Purplebricks, as many as 40% of Mancunians said they would happily place an offer on a property without setting foot inside.
61% of homebuyers even suggested virtual viewings had advantages – claiming they were more efficient and less awkward than face-to-face viewings.
More than a third also said they expected virtual viewings to become the norm when house hunting.
Alex Beswick, Territory Operator for Manchester at Purplebricks, said: “The current pandemic has thrown up many new challenges for buyers and sellers across Manchester. But this has heralded a new era of virtual house hunting and homeowners are quickly adopting this new way of buying and selling homes.
“Buyers are enjoying the speed and ease of doing viewings from the comfort of their own sofa, and sellers have welcomed a new way to show off their property – so it’s more important than ever to make a great virtual first impression.”
When it comes to virtual viewings, some of the biggest turn-offs are apparently dark and small areas, overgrown gardens and dirty items left in sight.
Lack of floorplans and badly-decorated rooms are also cited as factors that might put off a potential buyer.
Purplebricks has also been working with interiors expert Kate Watson-Smyth to provide tips on how to make your house look appealing online – which include keeping areas tidy, offering 360 views of rooms, decluttering, and welcoming in as much natural light as possible.
Kate said: “There are a number of practical things you can do to make a great first impression, but the hardest part of showing your home virtually is giving people that feeling or vibe you get when you step into a house. While you can’t delight them with the smell of freshly baked bread or coffee brewing as they walk in the door, there are some clever tricks you can do.”
“Place fresh flowers to brighten up a room, make sure all of the rooms are clean and tidy, show off any storage space, pull back the curtains to let in the light, and stage the rooms to encourage buyers to see themselves in the home with their family and friends.”
For more of Kate’s styling tips, go to @mad_about_the_house or visit @purplebricksuk.
Work has already begun to transform old Debenhams building into £70m retail and office space
The company behind the £70m transformation of Manchester’s former Debenhams building have issued a new update, saying that work is already underway at the site.
In a new statement, global real estate investment firm AM Alpha said that the main works will kick in in 2023 – the building is set to complete in early 2025.
The plans for the iconic Grade II-listed Rylands building include a four-storey extension on the roof, facilitating 10 floors of office space, plus a shopping arcade and a leisure area.
There’ll be space left for restaurant businesses when the refurbishment completes.
The building, which stands on the corner of Market Street and High Street, has been empty since 2021 when the department store collapsed.
The stunning art deco building has become something of a heartbreaking eyesore with its boarded-up windows in such a prominent location.
But AM Alpha’s complete refurbishment and modernisation is set to bring it back to life, with enabling works underway now.
Stephan Schmid, Senior Vice President at AM alpha: “Working with listed buildings is always a great privilege.
“We are proud to be able to give this historic Manchester landmark a new future and restore Rylands to its former glory in a very sustainable way. In this way, we are also helping to achieve Greater Manchester’s 2038 carbon neutrality target.”
Local construction company Russell WBHO, which specialises in listed and sustainable projects, will act as a construction partner for the project, while local property companies OBI and Barker Proudlove have been appointed as letting agents.
“It’s fantastic working with AM alpha on such an exciting project in our home town. Rylands is a well-known, impressive building,” says Will Lewis, founding director at OBI. “The property is close to bustling areas such as Piccadilly Gardens and the Northern Quarter and will appeal to many local businesses. Due to the sought-after location, we already see a lot of interest from potential future tenants.”
Gareth Russell, founder and managing director of Russell WBHO: “We are delighted to be working with AM alpha to revitalise the historic Rylands building and position it in the market as a highly sustainable building. With our extensive experience in historic preservation and sustainable building, we will make AM Alpha’s vision a reality.”
Featured image: AM Alpha
10 hot properties for sale in Greater Manchester | November 2022
Every month, we show you some of the hottest properties currently on the market in Greater Manchester.
And you all seem to love them.
It’s safe to say that Mancunians love a good nosey around other peoples’ houses, and after all, Greater Manchester is a brilliant place to live.
When it comes to property types in the region too, you really couldn’t get more diverse, as the traditional terraced streets make up the fabric of many inner city and borough town areas, while the wide range of leafy suburbs is where you’ll find some of the more sought-after and pricier family homes.
But what can your money currently get you in the area?
In our monthly Hot Property series, we scour the internet to find 10 more of the most diverse, jaw-dropping, accessible, and beautifully-presented homes currently on the market in Greater Manchester for you to take a look at.
West Didsbury, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M20
Townhouse | x3 Bedrooms | x3 Bathrooms
Offered to the market with no onward chain is this immaculately presented, three-bedroom townhouse on a quiet road just a short stroll from the cafes and bars on Burton Road in the centre of West Didsbury village, as well as all of the other amenities, good schooling options, and transport links that makes the area so highly-sought-after.
With viewings highly recommended by the estate agents, the property benefits from spacious rooms across each of the three floors, and tastefully-modernised accommodations throughout.
Externally, to the front of the property is a double driveway with off-road parking for multiple vehicles, while to the rear, there is a well-maintained garden.
The property is currently on the market with the Manchester branch of online estate agents Strike for £500,000.
Situated in the picturesque Edenfield village of Ramsbottom, surrounded by countryside walks yet still close to well-regarded schools, local amenities, and cafes, bars and restaurants, is this immaculately-presented, two-bedroom detached home that has been fully refurbished and tastefully-modernised, which makes it ideal for a couple or a small family.
This property is deceptively spacious – with two double bedrooms, a spacious attic room, modern and bright interiors, and there’s even a good-sized cellar that has potential for conversion.
There is also an enclosed rear garden to the rear of the property.
The property is currently on the market with the Rawtenstall branch of local independent estate agents Keenans for £325,000.
Part of the prestigious The School House conversion on the popular Clevelands estate in the highly-sought-after Heaton and Lostock area of Bolton, which is close to a wide range of amenities, excellent schooling options, and public transport and motorway links, is this stunning two-bedroom first floor apartment.
Estate agents describe the apartment as “bursting with elegance and style” throughout, with high ceilings, light and spacious accommodations that have been immaculately presented by the current owners.
The building benefits from lift access internally, while externally, there are well-maintained communal grounds and two off-road parking spaces assigned to the property.
The property is currently on the market with Bolton-based independent estate agents Price & Co for £235,000 (Offers in the Region of).
Situated on a quaint street in the popular residential area of Grasscroft – which is just a short walk away the surrounding villages of Saddleworth and Mossley with all of the amenities they have to offer, as well being nearby to several schooling options and transport links across Greater Manchester – is this four-bedroom stone-built terraced family home.
With accommodations set over four floors, the property has been extended and fully-renovated by the current owners throughout, while still retaining plenty of period features.
Externally, there is a tiered, low-maintenance rear garden.
This is a truly beautiful family home, with viewing highly recommended as estate agents expect it won’t stay on the market for long.
The property is currently on the market with the Oldham branch of leading online estate agents Purplebricks for £375,000.
This four-bedroom detached dormer bungalow sits in the heart of a highly-sought-after Stalybridge residential, just a stone’s throw away from a wide range of local amenities, good schooling options, and transport links across Greater Manchester, which makes it an ideal home for a growing family as well as those looking for the ease of single-floor living.
Presented to the highest of standards by the current owners, the property has been extended to offers spacious and versatile living accommodations throughout – benefiting from three reception rooms, and a newly-fitted kitchen.
The property also boats well-maintained gardens to both the front and the rear, as well as a driveway providing off-road parking for multiple vehicles.
The property is currently on the market with independent Stalybridge-based estate agents Home Estate Agents for £400,000 (Offers Over).
Set in the heart of the leafy Worsley village, with a wide range of amenities, well-regarded schools, transport links, and beautiful canalside walks and strolls through Worsley Woods all right on the doorstep, as well as being close to the new RHS Garden Bridgewater, this picturesque three-bedroom semi-detached cottage is a truly unique property to the market.
Beanfields was originally an Ellesmere Estate workers cottage, and has been inhabited by members of the same family from the day it was built.
Offered to the market with the potential to extend and add a driveway, subject to planning permission, the property boats spacious rooms packed with character internally, while externally, there are beautiful garden areas to the front and rear.
The property is currently on the market with the Worsley branch of estate agency chain Hunters for £425,000 (Offers in the Region of).
This unique, individually-designed four-bedroom detached family home is a rare opportunity to get your hands on a property on a little-known private road positioned just off Pemberton Road in Winstanley that comprises of a handful of homes which rarely come onto the market.
Brimming with kerb appeal, offering superb open views across Winstanley Park and towards Rivington in the distance, and with a wide range of amenities right on the doorstep, the property is set across two floors and is immaculately-presented throughout – with lots of natural light, open rooms, and well-planned living space.
The mature gardens to the front and rear are another key feature of the home, as is the recently-built timber bar / home office.
The property also benefits from driveway parking for several vehicles, and a large double garage.
The property is currently on the market with the Wigan branch of estate agency chain Regan & Hallworth for £620,000.
Close to the centre of Littleborough, with a number of independent shops, excellent schools, and bars and restaurants nearby, as well as having easy commuter access across Greater Manchester, and benefitting from being only a few minutes away from Hollingworth Lake nature reserve this beautifully-presented five-bedroom detached converted stable block set in a private picturesque location next to a river and forest.
While it may look like a quaint cottage from the outside, on the inside, the property has been fully-renovated throughout to be tastefully modernised, while still retaining plenty of its original charm and character.
Externally, the property boats eight acres of land situated off a quiet country lane with access via a private road, a large driveway to the front, and two garden areas to the rear.
The property is currently on the market with Littleborough-based independent estate agents Andrew Kelly for £525,000 (Offers in Excess of).
Broomfield Lane is a highly-sought-after residential road in the heart of Hale village, and this five-bedroom semi-detached period family home is just a short walk from all the bustling bars, cafes and restaurants the area has to offer, as well as being close to top-rated schools and being in the heart of the Greater Manchester commuter belt.
A beautiful Edwardian home built in 1910, but meticulously-extended and refurbished for modern family living throughout, the property boats flexible accommodation arranged over three floors – with character and charm having still been retained through the improvements.
Externally, the property benefits from driveway parking for up to four vehicles, as well as a well-maintained South-facing rear garden.
The property is currently on the market with the Knutsford branch of local independent estate agents Stuart Rushton & Co for £1.25 million (Guide Price).
Located on a peaceful cul-de-sac in the ever-popular residential community of the The Heatons in Stockport, benefitting from being nearby to lots of local amenities, schooling options, transport links, and access to the surrounding countryside, this imposing six-bedroom semi-detached family home blends period features with modern components.
As well as boasting spacious and flexible living accommodations throughout, Externally, the property has well-maintained gardens, a driveway and integral garage providing off-road parking, and attractive views both at the front and rear.
Estate agents say this unique family home must be viewed to be fully appreciated.
The property is currently on the market with the Heaton Moor branch of local estate agency chain Julian Wadden for £1.15 million (Guide Price).