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Moving From London to Manchester

Zenyx Griffiths

Written by

12th Mar 2019 (Last updated on 18th Jun 2020) 9 minute read

Moving From London to Manchester

Famous for two of the nation’s most recognised football clubs as well as an iconic music scene, Manchester has become a popular choice for those wishing to leave London. With over 200 languages spoken in the city, it’s a place filled with culture and diversity.

Manchester is a multicultural, vibrant city with a lively atmosphere and, as a bonus, properties that are cheaper than the national average. Many London house movers are making the decision to leave London for this very reason, as well as cheaper living costs in an area that is still just as animated and entertaining. From sports stadiums to rock-themed pubs, there’s plenty of activities for all tastes and preferences with the added bonus of being cheaper and less-populated than London. 

Before you start looking for the best Manchester removal companies, there are a few things to consider when committing to moving cities. From weekly salaries to local entertainment, Compare My Move has compiled a list of 8 things to consider before moving from London to Manchester to make things a little easier.  

1. Property Prices

The first thing to always check is property prices. Although London often has a higher salary rate, the properties and costs of living are more expensive lowering any expendable income. For first-time buyers, there’s the opportunity to save more easily for a deposit through the Manchester Help to Buy scheme.

According to Zoopla the average asking price for a 3-bedroom house in Manchester is a rather affordable £211,695, whilst in London, it’s an eye-watering £632,105. The average asking rent for a 3-bedroom flat in Manchester is £1,259 pcm whilst London is much higher at a current price of £5,025 pcm. Obviously this price will vary depending on the size and number of bedrooms.

To further help your comparison, it’s important to look at the size of the properties you’re considering. Properties in Manchester are not only affordable but you’ll be getting more space for your money. According to the Office for National Statistics, the average property price in Manchester is £1,941 per m², whilst in London, it’s £17,371 per m². Moving from London to Manchester provides you with lower property prices but also more space for your budget.

2. Living Costs

According to Expatistan the cost of living in Manchester is 36% cheaper than in London. Housing and transportation are where Manchester completely beat London as both categories are 45% cheaper. However, Manchester falls short on personal care with in-store medical and hygiene supplies being on par or slightly more expensive than in London.

Everyone knows that London is expensive and so making the move to Manchester could greatly help with your savings. With a basic dinner out for two costing £35 in London, Mancunians can splurge a little more on dessert as dinner costs £26. Those looking for a fun night out will be happy in Manchester as their wallet smiles with a cocktail costing £8 compared to the £11 in London and a £4.13 pint which would cost a Londoner £5.40.

3. Employment and Salaries

Manchester may not have a high salary range compared to London but there is still a lot to offer. The key employment sectors in Manchester are in media, finance, logistics, IT, engineering and manufacturing and health and education, providing a variety of opportunities.

London is famous for having the highest salaries in the UK, however, with high costs of living there is not much expendable income left over. According to the Centre for Cities, the weekly earnings in London currently average at £751.40. Whilst Manchester has an average weekly wage of £525.60.

Using this information we can determine that the average monthly wage for someone living in London is £3,256, whilst in Manchester, it averages at £2,278 a month. According to Zoopla, the average asking rent for a 1-bed flat in London is £1,788 pcm. This means that you would have an expendable income of £1,468 for bills, food and general costs. This may vary depending on the size and location of the property.

However, in Manchester, the average asking rent for a 1-bed flat is lower at £611 pcm. This means that you will then have a higher amount of expendable income, averaging at £1,667, despite London having higher salaries. Factoring in the lower costs of living, you’ll have more money to save and use on everyday necessities by moving from London to Manchester.

4. Local Transportation and Commuting

According to Expatistan the local transportation in Manchester is, on average, 45% cheaper than in London. The average monthly ticket for transportation in Manchester is £59, whilst in London, it’s much more expensive at £138. There are 2 train stations situated in Manchester with at least 3 trains running per hour to London from all stations. For those wishing to commute, keep in mind that the journey from Manchester to London can take over 2 hours.

The trams are a popular type of local transportation in Manchester taking you throughout the city and to nearby suburbs. The M6 makes for an easier commute to outer cities by car and Manchester Airport is perfect for those wishing to travel even further.

5. Schools and Education

With more and more families choosing to move from London to Manchester we’ve added a list of the Top 5 Primary and Secondary Schools to help you with your decision. Before deciding on any move, it’s important to research local schools and their catchment areas to ensure they suit your child’s needs and to see if there are any requirements needed before securing a school place.

Manchester is home to a number of well-respected schools with impressive reports. Below is a list of schools highlighted by School Guide where many have been awarded Grade 1 Ofsted reports marking them as ‘Outstanding’:

Top 5 Primary Schools:

  1. St Wilfrid's RC Primary School
  2. St Anne's RC Primary School
  3. St Mary's CofE Junior and Infant School
  4. New Islington Free School
  5. Holy Name Roman Catholic Primary School Manchester

Top 5 Secondary Schools:

  1. Manchester High School for Girls
  2. The Manchester Grammar School
  3. Chetham's School of Music
  4. Abbey College Manchester
  5. St Bede's College

Manchester is also within an hours commute of 22 universities providing students with a variety to choose from. The University of Manchester is amongst those available and has an impressive 25 Nobel prize winners amongst its current and former staff and students. A highly credited and world-renowned prize, it’s recipients often make the most important discoveries of the modern age, demonstrating the success of the university.

6. Student Living

Manchester is a multicultural and dynamic city that’s perfect for students. From an animated nightlife to numerous educational museums, there’s so much to explore when you’re not studying. With over 22 universities within an hours journey from Manchester, students have a range of courses to choose from.

Although there are a variety of student-friendly activities in London, Manchester offers a more unique list at a much lower price. As the cost of living is cheaper students don’t have to worry as much about student loans or accommodation. 

Accommodation fees vary widely depending on where you go and what type you choose from. According to Which, the average weekly rent for students living in London is £255, whilst the weekly cost of accommodation in The University of Manchester is £124 allowing you to save more.

7. Culture and Community

Manchester is a city of culture, and no, not just football. There are various intriguing museums to explore and the 200 languages being spoken here make it an incredibly multicultural part of the UK. The Chinatown is the third largest in Europe and the Whitworth Art Gallery was Art Fund’s Museum of the Year in 2015! Manchester is known for its music scene and the legendary Piccadilly Records is a must-see for any vintage music fan. London may have a lot to offer, but Manchester gives you more for your money and with a much warmer community feel.

Manchester United and Manchester City are often phrases well connected to this city. Football is at its heart but so is the community. Fans and friends cheer each other on as shown through the thriving local stores and family-run businesses. Manchester's Arndale is one of the largest shopping centres in the UK with more than 200 retailers and not all of them being popular chains! Less isolating than London, Manchester is a smaller city but with just as big a heart.

8. The Differences Between the Two Cities

Both London and Manchester are fairly large cities bustling with life and entertainment. However, Manchester has more to offer than you think. From fascinating museums to live music and theatre, there's so much to explore! Both cities offer an amazing nightlife but Manchester offers all this but at a more affordable price.

One of the biggest differences between the two is public transport. Depending on personal preferences, you may prefer the crowded tube of London or perhaps the reliable buses in Manchester. There are many other options but some ex-Londoners miss the fast-paced tube, readjusting to a slower lifestyle. This could be a perfect relocation for families looking for a quieter city to call home.  

Don’t forget the topic at the heart of this city, the very thing that makes Manchester different from London. The sports community! Manchester is home to two world-renowned football teams as well as world-class facilities provided by the legacy of the Commonwealth. From athletics to aquatic sports, there is something for everyone and many activities to become passionate about. With a warmer atmosphere, Manchester can be not just a city but a home.

Should You Move to Manchester?

Moving cities can be a daunting experience with so much information to consider and compare. But many Londoners have committed to the move to Manchester and we can easily see why. To make the decision easier for you, we hope this summary will provide you with the relevant information to decide.

London may have higher salary rates (no surprise there) but it also has lower expendable incomes meaning you have less to save or spend on daily necessities. Not only are the property prices considerably higher, but they’re also more expensive per square metre meaning that you would be getting less space for your money compared to Manchester.

Moving from London to Manchester could mean more money to enjoy the entertainment the city provides. With a variety of high-quality schools and universities available, both families and students can easily settle in making the city their home.

Moving to Manchester with Compare My Move

If you’re convinced that Manchester is the place for you, please browse our Moving to Manchester guide to help you get started on your moving plans. Don’t forget to request a house removal quote to get connected with up to 6 local and reliable removal companies to save you both time and money.

Zenyx Griffiths

Before Compare My Move, Zenyx once wrote lifestyle and entertainment articles for the online magazine, Society19 as well as news articles for Ffotogallery.

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