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Moving from London to Manchester


Written by Reviewed by Dave Sayce

16th Jan 2023 (Last updated on 28th May 2024) 7 minute read

London is often seen as the place to live, and everyone seemingly wants to move to “The Big Smoke”. While it’s great for job opportunities, and there’s plenty of culture and nightlife, this comes at a cost.

London is one of the most expensive places to live in the UK and is a highly populated city. This is ideal for young and single people looking to focus on their career goals.

As people look to settle, buy a home and start a family, many will move to a quieter location. Some opt for a quieter life in the countryside, while others still want the convenience of a city.

Manchester is a city in North West England that’s a popular option for London relocation. In this article, we discuss moving from London to Manchester, from property prices to removal costs.

  1. Why Are People Moving From London to Manchester?
  2. Property Prices
  3. Work and Salary
  4. Cost of Living
  5. Education
  6. Culture/Art
  7. Nightlife/Social Scene
  8. Is it Worth Moving to Manchester from London?
  9. Removals from London to Manchester

Why Are People Moving From London to Manchester?

There are a whole host of reasons why people make the Manchester move. While it’s still a busy city, it’s quieter than London. Commute times are shorter for most people, especially when compared to the commute from Greater London to Central London.

It’s also an affordable city to live in. Many people will choose to begin their family life in Manchester because while it's a big city, it's a slower pace of life and has many nice neighbourhoods to live in.

The Manchester Evening News statistics show 10,200 people moved from London to Manchester in 2018. For comparison, only 8,870 people moved from Manchester to London.

Property Prices

Property prices are significantly cheaper in Manchester.

The UK House Price Index shows the average house price in Manchester is £234,629. The average house price in London is £743,741 according to Rightmove. When purchasing a property, Manchester is 57% cheaper than London.

The best places to live in Manchester include Sale, Altrincham, and Rusholme. More affordable areas to live in include Oldham. Manchester city centre is a popular place to live, and Didsbury is one of the more affluent areas.

The average rent costs £1,441 according to The average rental price in London is £4,642. When you compare the monthly rental charges, it’s a lot more affordable to live in Manchester.

Renting in Manchester is over 3 times less expensive than in London. The best places to rent in Manchester include Wigan and Tameside.

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Work and Salary

As Manchester is a popular and ever-growing city, there’s a plethora of different types of work to choose from. According to The Manchester College, here are the top industries:

  • Digital, Creative and Media
  • Manufacturing and Technology
  • NHS, Medical Research and Social Science
  • Logistics and E-Commerce
  • Business, Finance, and Professional services

There’s a huge mixture of work industries in Manchester. It's also a popular city for media, TV and book publishing. It's home to BBC and Media City studios. Payscale shows that the average salary in Manchester is £31,000.

Some of the most popular job roles in London include:

  • Banking and Finance
  • Public Sector
  • Creative Industries
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Technology
  • Transport

The job roles in London aren’t too dissimilar to Manchester but there is more emphasis on the finance and hospitality industry. The average salary in London is £40,000.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Manchester is lower than London. Numbeo and our own research provide some useful comparisons that highlight this:

Cost of Living ExamplesLondonManchester

Public transport pass (monthly)



Basic utilities (monthly)



Fitness club membership (monthly)



Chicken fillets



Pint of beer



Taxi starting price






Inexpensive restaurant meal for 2 people



Cinema ticket (one ticket)£12£10

*Data taken from our Moving to Manchester article

While workers in London are paid the London Living Wage, it doesn’t always offset the cost of living. This is why many people move from London’s city centre.

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There are many excellent schools to consider if you have children both in Manchester and London.

Public schools provide good education in Manchester. Altrincham Grammar School for Girls in Greater Manchester is considered one of the 10 best state schools in the UK by HomeViews.

If you’re a student, there are 4 universities in Manchester to consider. These are:

  • The University of Manchester
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • The University of Bolton
  • The University of Salford

London Councils states that 94% of schools in the city are considered to be either outstanding or good.

Our Moving to South London research shows outstanding schools include Harris Primary Academy Merton, and Perseid School.

There are more university options to consider compared to Manchester. There are 18 universities in total, including:

  • Imperial College London
  • King’s College London
  • University College London
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • The London School of Economics and Political Science

Both cities are popular choices for university students.


Manchester is home to two of the biggest football teams in the Premier League, Manchester United and Manchester City. There is lots to do in the city, and it's within easy reach of places such as Liverpool and the Peak District.

It’s known for its music and theatre too. Manchester is a creative city, and it has many museums and art galleries, such as the Manchester Art Gallery, Whitworth Art Gallery and the Science and Industry Museum. There are many shops in the city centre, especially in Manchester Arndale. For retro shops and independent bars, the Northern Quarter is the best place to visit.

Manchester is a multicultural city that’s popular and home to interesting architecture, such as the Trafford Center, Manchester Cathedral and John Rylands Library. Salford Quay is home to the Lowry Theatre and shopping mall, and the Imperial War Museum.

South and North London are hubs for both culture and art in the UK. There are many museums and art galleries to visit, such as The National Gallery, The British Museum and the Tate Modern. With many sightseeing attractions to see such as Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, you won’t run out of new things to see.

London is home to the West End that’s full of fantastic musical theatre shows. Being a multicultural city, the city is vibrant and interesting. This attracts a lot of people to move here each year.

Nightlife/Social Scene

The nightlife and social scene in Manchester are great, and the city is known for its fun and interesting nightlife.

There are always new bars and restaurants opening and it’s also home to the famous Curry Mile. Given it’s a city, there are many social clubs, groups and events to attend.

There are endless social activities you can do with friends, from the Crystal Maze Experience to silent discos. There are many ways to meet new people if you’re moving to Manchester alone.

While London typically has more restaurants, bars and a social scene, this doesn’t mean Manchester is lacking in any way. The nightlife and social scene will be more affordable in Manchester than in London.

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Is it Worth Moving to Manchester from London?

If you’re looking to save money, it can be worth moving to Manchester from London. There are many different aspects to consider.

Here are some pros and cons for both cities to provide you with a better idea of which is the best option for you.


  • Cheaper to live in Manchester than in London
  • Commute times tend to be shorter
  • Likely to have more disposable income
  • Quieter city for those looking to move away from the business of London
  • Many job opportunities
  • Easier to get on the property ladder
  • Good public transport links
  • Many affordable commute towns to choose from, such as Bury and Blackburn


  • Average wage is lower
  • City is smaller and less busy than London
  • Typically more days of rain than in London
  • Fewer green spaces compared to London
  • Student heavy city

Removals from London to Manchester

Manchester is around 200 miles away from London. Given this, you can expect removal service costs to be higher than if you moved locally. Even so, there are many companies offering moving from London to Manchester services.

Moving costs are roughly £975 to move from London to Manchester. This data is based on the results from our cost of moving house calculator. We took the average 3-bedroom house price and the distance travelled to work out these costs.

Here are the average costs for additional services when moving from Manchester to London:

  • Packing - £250
  • Dismantling and reassembling - £125

If you’re looking to move from London to Manchester, here at Compare My Move, we can assist you with the moving process. We can match you with up to 6 of our trusted and verified removal partners offering this service.

All costs listed in this article are correct at the time of writing. Costs may vary slightly and this is just an estimated number.

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Dave Sayce

Reviewed by Dave Sayce

Owner & Managing Director, Compare My Move

Dave Sayce is the owner and managing director of Compare My Move and has over 10 years of experience in the house removals industry.

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