The real estate team at Manchester law firm Slater Heelis is on track for a record year as it predicts the property market in the North West will continue to be buoyant through 2018.

The Deansgate-based firm advised on more than £150m of property transactions alone in the past 12 months, including some of Manchester’s highest profile new developments, such as the Siemens Campus in West Didsbury, the former AstraZeneca site at Alderley Park and De Trafford Estates’ residential portfolio, which will add a further 2,000 units to Manchester’s city centre residential stock.

Slater Heelis also welcomed high profile new hires Simon Maddox from Gateley Plc, Daniel Stern from Turner Parkinson and Matt Grellier from Squire Patton Boggs as department turnover is expected to rise by 20 per cent year on year and by more than 40 per cent over the past two years.

Will Henson, head of commercial property at Slater Heelis, said: ‘These are exciting times for the property sector in the North West and Manchester in particular.

‘Office rents will continue to rise as a shortfall of Grade A space will push up rents in both Grade A and B property. With stronger than average employment growth, I would expect office take-up to continue to rise, potentially even topping the 20 per cent growth in take up we saw last year.

‘The continued rise in digital retail is creating a huge growth in demand for logistics occupiers looking for distribution locations. Distribution warehouses continue to be especially attractive to overseas investors, many of whom don’t share the same the same domestic concerns over Brexit. There are also many new smaller logistics occupiers looking for creative distribution space, further pushing up demand.

‘Reflecting Manchester’s position as the “second city” the leisure market continues to flourish with strong hotel supply managing to keep up with rising demand, with a number of new hotel developments in the pipeline. The mid-range food and drink sector is also performing well and attracting high interest in retail leisure premises from national chains and regional owner-occupiers, which I see continuing throughout 2018.’

Slater Heelis is also optimistic about the residential sector performance through 2018.

Anne Irwin, managing partner and head of residential at Slater Heelis Manchester, said: ‘It is anticipated that house prices in the North West are expected to grow between 18 and 28 per cent in the North West over the next five years.

Manchester city centre is still booming and there are thousands of new homes in the city centre pipeline. Even so, I expect demand will need to push supply even further and that the city could comfortably accommodate more than 3,000 new residential units per year.

‘We have advised on a number of large volume schemes which will begin to come online over the next 12 months that are attracting high interest from domestic and overseas investors.

‘The Northern Powerhouse concept is already having a positive impact on the business and professional services economy and we are seeing a knock-on increase in residential demand from employment growth driven by inward investment into the North West.

‘The changing models of student accommodation are also having a positive impact on the residential market with investors snapping up city centre apartments as campuses become wider spread and an increasing number of specialist student accommodation blocks and build-to-rent schemes are being planned.’

Slater Heelis has offices in Manchester city centre and Sale also recently launched a dedicated construction and engineering department to provide its property clients will a genuine full service from land acquisition through to plot sales.