Winter street scene at Kingsbourne, Natnwich

North West Property Buying Guide

About the North West

At approximately 5,500 square miles, the North West is the third-most populated region in the UK, encompassing Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside.

 and Liverpool dominate the region, while Chester, Wigan and Warrington are more vibrant areas. The North West is also home to the picturesque Lake District, the Forest of Bowland and parts of the Peak District, Pennines and Yorkshire Dales.

Whether you’re looking for help choosing an area or advice on the latest property schemes available, our buying guide for North West England is here to help.

Exterior view of the Bradgate

North West property market prices & trends

According to the UK House Price Index, average property values increased by under 10% between December 2021 and December 2022. The North West reflects this trend, with prices up by 11% between 2020 and 2023. Greater Manchester and Merseyside show the most significant increase of 15%.

Despite this increase, the North West remains one of the most affordable regions in the UK to buy, together with the North East and Yorkshire. Price trends see semi-detached properties as best-selling, followed by terraced and detached homes.

Whether you’re looking to invest or buy your first home, this part of England is a great place to buy. If you decide to buy with us, you can enjoy our latest offers, designed to help you maximise your budget.

Best investment areas in the North West

Salford and Tameside top the charts as the two main investment areas in the North West. This is based on rental yields, property value, demand and growth. Both are within commuting distance of Manchester while offering a laid-back local atmosphere.

Wigan is also highly rated thanks to its low crime rates, excellent schools and affordable property prices, up 12% between 2020 and 2023.

Considering the affordable property prices, student population, culture and access to the coast, Liverpool promises excellent rental yields, making it a perfect city to invest in property. Likewise, Manchester recorded an increase in property prices of a little over 10% between 2020 and 2023.

If you’re looking to buy a second property to rent out, the North West is a great place to do so. The region has recently been rated the best part of the UK to invest in.

The most sought-after property areas in the North West

Street Scene view of Stanneylands Development
The North West is brimming with desirable places to live in. The region boasts a wealth of sought-after spots where properties are at a premium.


A leafy suburb in Cheshire, Wilmslow is just over ten miles south of Manchester City Centre with easy access to the city’s Manchester Airport. The area is suitable for families, with excellent schools and plenty of cafés, bars and restaurants.


Bollington is a superb spot for nature lovers, with the Peak District on its doorstep. The town is also within commuting distance of Macclesfield and Manchester City Centre.


Chorlton is one of the region’s most attractive places to live, contributing to competition in the property market. Just a few miles from Manchester City Centre, this suburb is famous for its independent shops, cafés and restaurants. It also has excellent transport links into the city.

Best places to move with your family in the North West

Street scene of detached 4 bedroom homes at Kingsbourne, Nantwich

From family attractions to natural landscapes and outstanding schools, many would regard the North West the best place to raise a family in the UK. Whether looking for a quiet rural area or the best city for family life, the region offers something to suit all lifestyles.


Surrounded by the Cheshire countryside and less than 20 miles from Manchester, Macclesfield is a great place for children to grow up. There are several outstanding schools in the local area, not to mention many local parks.


In the Trawden Forest, at the foot of Boulsworth Hill in Lancashire, Trawden is a charming spot with plenty going for it. If you're moving with your family, you'll benefit from exciting amenities, including a library, retail outlets and a community centre.


Southport is hard to beat if you want to raise your children beside the sea. Less than 20 miles along the coast from Liverpool and a similar distance to Preston, you’ll feel like you’re always on holiday.


Ofsted rankings of best schools in the North West

School Ofsted Rating Date of Inspection
 Archbishop Blanch Secondary School   Outstanding  March 2020
 Preston Muslim Girls High School  Outstanding  February 2023
 Greenbank School   Outstanding  January 2021
 Auckland College  Outstanding  March 2022
 St Mary’s RC Primary School  Outstanding  July 2022
 Our Lady’s Catholic High School  Outstanding  November 2022
 Skelton Primary School  Good  July 2022
 Sacred Heart Primary School  Outstanding  June 2020
 Levenshulme High School  Outstanding  July 2022
 Loreto College  Outstanding  February 2023


Best places to move to be close to nature in the North West

Formby beach
From picturesque stretches of coastline to breathtaking national parks, the North West is home to a glittering array of beautiful natural spaces. Are you searching for country property for sale in the North West or longing to live on the coast? Whatever it is, you’ll be spoilt for choice.


Just over ten miles north of Liverpool City Centre, this desirable coastal town is famous for its spectacular beach, perfect for walks come rain or shine. 


On the banks of the River Leven, south of the Lake District, Ulverston is among the best places to live in the region. It provides superb access to Morecambe Bay, Roudsea Wood and Mosses National Nature Reserve.


On the eastern shore of Lake Windermere, Windermere boasts some of the most attractive rural properties for sale in the North West. Lakeside property may be hard to come by. Wherever you buy here, you’ll be surrounded by endless natural beauty in this stunning part of the Lake District.

Buying in North West’s towns & cities

Millford and Bradgate at Pinewood Park

As a place of contrasts, the North West suits everyone, from enjoying expansive natural landscapes to day trips to leading cities.

Many North West locations are in demand for their rural charm, while others are popular for their modern amenities. This includes transport links to Manchester and Liverpool. The M62 connects the two; The M6, M56, M60 and M65 also link up the region.

The North West is home to two major international airports – Manchester and Liverpool John Lennon. Not to mention comprehensive rail links, making getting around straightforward. Train lines run throughout the region, while Greater Manchester also benefits from a city-wide Metrolink system.

Buying your home in Manchester

As the region’s biggest city, new properties in Manchester are always in demand. There’s no shortage of attractions here, from some of the country’s top schools to cultural highlights.

Manchester house prices rose by 15% between 2020 and 2023.


A property hotspot for investment, Stretford is a popular place to call home. A few miles outside Manchester City Centre with a tram stop, the area is convenient for commuters, getting to Old Trafford football ground, the Trafford Centre and Salford Keys.


Houses in Worsley are located near beautiful nature spots like Blackleach and Clifton country park. They also boast excellent transport links to neighbouring areas. House prices here have risen by 23% between 2020 and 2023.

Buying your home in Liverpool

As one of the UK’s most culturally rich and exciting cities, Liverpool is packed with history and things to do for the whole family. Liverpool property prices rose by 16% between 2020 and 2023.


Boasting a superb Merseyside location, this town is perfect for Liverpool property on the coast. Thanks to its sandy beach, coastal park, waterfront attractions and local golf clubs, house prices in Wallasey have grown in popularity recently, up 20% between 2020 and 2023.

St Helens

Just over ten miles east of Liverpool City Centre, St Helens is another strong contender if you’re looking for affordable Liverpool homes. Long-term prospects are good in terms of protecting your investment, with St Helens house prices increasing by 15% between 2020 and 2023.

External view of Meriden style home with bay-fronted lounge and integral garage

Buying your home in Warrington

One of the North West’s most significant towns, Warrington offers excellent access to Manchester, Liverpool and the M56 and M62 motorways. Local attractions include Gulliver’s World theme park and Walton Gardens. House prices in the area have increased by just under 10% between 2020 and 2023.


Part of our advice for buying a home in Warrington involves looking at the Appleton area. Just the other side of the River Mersey and Manchester Ship Canal, this desirable spot boasts house prices that rose by 13% between 2020 and 2023.


This town is conveniently located on the south bank of the River Mersey, convenient for access to Warrington, Liverpool and Manchester. Despite increasing by more than 6% between 2020 and 2023, house prices in Runcorn remain more affordable than in the surrounding areas.

Buying your home in Lancaster

On the North West’s coastline, between Morecambe Bay and the Forest of Bowland, Lancaster is a small city with significant potential. Also offering excellent access to the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales, house prices in Lancaster rose by 12% from 2020 to 2023.

Buying your home in Preston

Preston, an exciting city with a vibrant student population, lies midway between the coast and the Forest of Bowland. Transport links to Liverpool and Manchester are excellent, as are local property prices. House prices in Preston increased by 3% from 2020 to 2023.


The northern suburb of Fulwood is close to the city centre, Royal Preston Hospital and various green spaces.


This is a more affordable area where prices are below the local average. Properties in Leyland are in demand, with a growth of 10% between 2020 and 2023.


Northeast of Preston, Longridge is a sought-after market town surrounded by pretty open countryside, including the Forest of Bowland and Ribble and Alt Estuaries.

Buying your home in Chester

A beautiful city with majestic architecture and thousands of years of history, Chester is a wonderful place to live. There are attractions around town for all ages, plus plenty of excellent schools and natural landscapes to explore.

Average property prices in Cheshire and Chester increased by 11% and 6% between 2020 and 2023, with semi-detached homes being the best-selling.


Our Offers to Get You Moving

Help to Sell Schemes

We have a range of schemes to help you sell your existing home.


Low Deposit Schemes

If you have a low deposit, we have a variety of schemes to help make moving more affordable.

Key Worker Scheme

We could help make your move with our Key Worker Deposit Contribution Scheme.