City that once defined buy-to-let bust is regaining its appetite for flats. Paul Unger reports

There were only three large residential schemes completed in central Manchester and Salford Quays in the past two years, as research for Property Week by Jones Lang LaSalle shows. Peel completed 378 flats as part of Media City UK in 2010 and Pinetree Developments created 114 units at Quantum in Chapeltown Street. In 2011, Manchester Ship Canal Developments finished 108 flats in Eastbank.

The story will not be the same this year or next. Development is accelerating and quickly. Steve Hogg, director of Jones Lang LaSalle, believes the market will look different this time.

City Living Cypress Place

City Living’s Cypress Place

“Before the recession, the stock was investment driven and got smaller and smaller to produce more and more units, ending up with two-beds of 550 sq ft. Now the ‘bank of mum and dad’ is the biggest lender, and a one-bed flat is 550 sq ft and a two-bed flat is 800 sq ft.”

Meanwhile, land prices peaked at £50,000 a unit and are now back to half that.

So, who are the runners and riders leading the way in new residential developments?

Cypress Place: Lend Lease is back on the site in Green Quarter to finish the stalled 215-home project, which is due to be completed in September.

Delaney Building: This development in Derwent Street, near Castlefield, has 70 units. It is due to be completed this autumn by Lowry Developments, a joint venture between local property companies MMC Estates and Renaker. The company also plans phase two with another 80 units in the mid-term.

Greet Ancoats Street: 82 rental flats by Northern Group were finished in January 2012.

Bengal Mill, Ancoats: Renaker is building 135 units on this site for completion this summer.

Royal Mills, Ancoats: Renaker plans 120 units.

Student Castle: This 37-storey tower next to Oxford Road railway station is funded by Carphone Warehouse founder Charles Dunstone. It is due to be completed for the next academic year in August 2012.

Nuovo: UK Land & Property and the Homes and Communities Agency are understood to be close to a rescue funding deal, involving Clydesdale Bank, for this 126-unit development in Great Ancoats Street.

Muse Developments: A planning application is expected this summer for 77 homes in the Northern Quarter. This would complete the mixed-use scheme started by Crosby before the recession.

New Islington: Urban Splash is expected to make an announcement soon to resume the development of its new residential building.

NoMa: The Co-operative Group is rumoured to unveil a new family residential block in 2013 after its new headquarters opens.

River Street: London-based developer Chelmer Developments plans a 40-storey apart-hotel with 600 serviced apartments for short and medium-term lets.