I write in response to the recent Hot Housing Index (09.09.16) and poll question: were you surprised to see towns and cities in the North West dominating the league table of the most liveable UK locations?

Top 2 housing hot spots

My only surprise is how long it’s taken for these pockets of the North West to get the recognition they deserve. It’s fantastic seeing a trio of Crewe, Chester and Stockport top the Hot Housing Index and opening the industry’s eyes to the wider opportunities available in the region. These are great locations where job growth and new housing go hand in hand to create truly sustainable locations.

Manchester often enjoys the bulk of the limelight under the ‘northern powerhouse’ umbrella - but this just goes to show that we should be looking to the regional city boundaries and delving deeper into the momentum gathering in other parts of the North West. If we always set our sights on the key cities, we’ll miss a trick in rejuvenating a whole region.

Crewe Railway

M60 towns such as Stockport need to be viewed as standalone destinations for investment in their own right, not simply as part of the Greater Manchester conurbation. These locations are where growth is now really taking hold and where investors and developers can reap great returns. Infrastructure improvements and retail regenerations have been leading the charge in these towns - and what’s needed now is the residential market to catch up and cotton on.

The current cocktail of affordability and connectivity is a potent one and one investors should be drinking up.

Dan Mitchell, planning partner at Barton Willmore in Manchester