If you're thinking of renting a home in Stockport, what do you need to know?
Stockport in north west England is featured in several of renowned artist L.S Lowry’s works, but the area has changed dramatically since it came to fame in his creations.
The town is one of Greater Manchester’s 10 districts and is is just seven miles from Manchester city centre. As well as being close to a major city, Stockport also has access to spectacular British countryside as parts of the Peak District National Park are just over half an hour away. This makes Stockport an appealing option for renters who want the best of both worlds.
Stockport began as a village, but it grew into a town after it was given a charter in 1220 that allowed markets and fairs to be held. During the seventeenth century Stockport became known for its hat making and silk industries. The industrial revolution in the eighteenth century also saw the area grow rapidly and a large amount of housing was built for workers. The iconic Stockport Viaduct was completed in 1840 to carry the Manchester and Birmingham Railway, but it is now part of the West Coast Main Line.
Remnants of Stockport’s past that are still standing today include churches from several different centuries and a traditional street market. There is also a wide variety of architecture and Stockport boasts 500 listed buildings along with 37 conservation areas. Buildings can be found from the Victorian, Regency, Georgian and Tudor eras.
Stockport is currently undergoing major redevelopment, with the council investing millions of pounds on improving the town. The plans include a new leisure scheme that will comprise a 10 screen cinema, shops, restaurants and a multi storey car park. A business-focused development is also underway at the Stockport Exchange, which will contain 43,000 sq ft of office space as well as a 115 room hotel.
Who lives in Stockport?
The Metropolitan Borough of Stockport had a population of 283,275 and a total of 121,979 households as of 2011. People in Stockport are most likely to be living alone, followed by married couples with no dependent children and married couples with dependent children. The majority of people renting in Stockport do so privately through a landlord or letting agency. However a large amount also rent from the council or a housing association.
Renting in Stockport
Rental accommodation is not hard to come by in Stockport and there are options available for a range of renters, including families, couples and individuals. Property to rent in Stockport is usually available on a short term tenancy agreement but other arrangements can be made.
Most of the houses to rent in Stockport are traditional Victorian red brick terraced houses, which were originally built for the local factory workers. These properties typically come in the ‘two-up two-down’ layout where the ground floor has two main reception rooms and the upstairs has two bedrooms. Originally most of these terraced houses would have had outside toilets, but they have usually been incorporated into the ground floor of the property or squeezed in upstairs.
Semi-detached houses are also prevalent in Stockport, although there are generally fewer available to rent than there are for sale. These houses offer more space than the terraced houses in the area and tend to offer driveways and larger gardens.
The majority of flats to rent in Stockport are part of purpose-built developments from the past few decades. However, there are a few 1960s and 1970s built flats around for those looking for something a bit more retro. Renters that are looking for a more historic property can look to some of the town's converted warehouses and mills, which provide modern homes with an industrial edge.
Additional housing is part of the council’s plan to improve the town, so renters looking for new build homes in Stockport should have plenty of choice.
For more information about renting in Stockport speak to a local estate agent. They will be able to help you work out what kind of property will suit you and where you will be able to find it.
Finding an area in Stockport to live in
The municipal borough of Stockport encompasses several suburbs and residential areas, which gives renters the opportunity to find the right place to call home.
Stockport town centre is largely non-residential although there are some properties in the Hillgate area. The homes that are available closest to the town centre are usually flats that have the perks of being close to Stockport’s shopping facilities, transport links and nightlife.
The area to the north west of the town centre is known as the Four Heatons, which includes Heaton Norris, Heaton Chapel, Heaton Moor and Heaton Mersey. Each area has its own high street, but the Four Heatons Trade Association ties local businesses in the suburbs together. The Four Heatons are generally regarded as wealthy areas.
Heaton Norris is home to the William Nelstrop & Co Ltd flour mill, which is one of the largest independent flour mills in the country. Dog walkers, footballers and horse riders can all enjoy The Bowerfield Open Space all year round and when it snows it is also a popular spot for sledging. Homes in the area are typically terraced or semi-detached, but there are larger, more expensive properties closer to the Heaton Moor border.
Heaton Moor sits to the north of Heaton Norris and boasts a large amount of grand Victorian homes that sit along wide, tree-lined streets. The area also has several estates that were built in the 1940s and 1950s. This area is ideal for those who love sports as the Heaton Moor Rugby Club is based nearby at The Heatons Sports Club, where there are also tennis, lacrosse and cricket facilities. Golfers can while away the hours on the 18 hole Heaton Moor Golf Club.
Heaton Chapel contains a train station of the same name that offers regular trains into Manchester and out towards Alderley Edge, Buxton, Crewe and Hazel Grove. Heaton Chapel contains some of the largest and most expensive houses in Greater Manchester, some of which are mansions that were built in the early twentieth century.
Heaton Mersey can be found to the west of Heaton Norris and is a very green suburb with several conservation areas. It holds regular farmers markets, boot sales and family days. It also has several sports clubs. Property in Heaton Mersey includes a mixture of 1950s, 1960s and 1970s housing along with traditional Edwardian properties.
The suburbs of Reddish and Brinnington are located to the north east of Stockport. Reddish is an area that grew rapidly during the Industrial Revolution and many landmarks still remain from the era. Reddish Vale Country Park sits to the east of the town and offers 161 hectares for walking, cycling, fishing and horse riding. Homes in Reddish are mainly Victorian terraces or semi-detached built after the Second World War, although some of the old mills have been converted into flats. Brinnington is an area that is undergoing regeneration, but the existing housing is mainly high rise flats and 1950s semi-detached houses. The council recently approved a new housing development, which will include 280 new homes and a £5m new sports centre.
The nearest residential areas to the south west of Stockport are Edgeley and Adswood. Most of the properties in Edgeley are Victorian terraces, but there are also some council estates. Edgeley Park is home to Stockport County FC, which currently play in the Conference North league. Adswood began as a council housing estate in the 1920s and grew throughout the 1930s and 1940s. It now has three primary schools.
Cheadle, Cheadle Heath and Cheadle Hulme all sit further south west of Stockport. These areas boast a range of housing from the 1800s through to modern homes. Cheadle Hulme has its own train station and all of the Cheadles are close to the M60. There are also several primary schools, secondary schools and independent schools that serve the areas.
The suburbs of Shaw Heath, Heaviley, Offerton and Davenport lie to the south east of the town. Homes in both Heaviley and Shaw Heath are predominantly traditional Victorian terraces. Property is more varied in Offerton and Davenport. The homes in these areas are generally bigger and have larger gardens.
Bramhall is an affluent area that can be found to the south of Davenport. It is one of the most sought-after districts in Stockport thanks to its traditional detached homes and its wide range of amenities. Other villages like Hazel Grove and Marple are also popular, particularly with families, as both areas offer a good variety of housing.
Stockport council tax
All households in Stockport are required to pay council tax, whether they are renting or buying. The amount of council tax that needs to be paid in Stockport will depend on which tax band the property falls into - go to the government website to check this. The next step is to find out how much tax Stockport Council charges for the band the property is in and whether or not a discount or exemption is available.
Jobs in Stockport
Stockport has a high level of employment, with 121,000 people working in the borough as of 2013, making it the third largest workforce in Greater Manchester. In 2014, only 2.5 per cent of people were unemployed compared to the national average of 2.7 per cent.
There are more than 11,500 businesses in Stockport across major employment sectors, such as wholesale and retail trade, healthcare, education and manufacturing. The area has also become a hub for financial and professional services as well as the digital and creative industries.
Stockport boasts an excellent transport network. It has attracted a number of major companies to the area, such as Adidas, BAe Systems, PZ Cussons, United Biscuits, MAN Diesel & Turbo and Starkey Laboratories.
Transport in Stockport
Stockport is a well-connected town with fantastic transport links to the north of England and the rest of the country. The town has easy road access into Manchester city centre thanks to the A6, while the M60 provides links to the M56 and M62.
At the heart of the town is Stockport train station, which was used by more than 3.5 million passengers from 2013-2014. Services that run north west all head through Manchester Piccadilly. There are rail links to the likes of Liverpool, Preston, Blackpool, Wigan, Southport and Barrow-in-Furness. Trains that head south east include services to Sheffield, Cleethorpes, Nottingham and Norwich. Other southern routes run to Macclesfield, Stoke-on-Trent, London and Birmingham. Some of the services to Birmingham also continue on to the south of England stopping at Bournemouth, Paignton and Plymouth.
Manchester Airport is located five miles south west of Stockport. It was the third busiest airport in Britain in 2014 with nearly 22 million passengers. More than 60 airlines fly from the airport to 200-plus destinations around the world.
Things to do in Stockport
Although Stockport is within easy reach of Manchester, there’s no need to leave the town to find things to do. Film lovers can enjoy seeing blockbusters at either the Cineworld Cinema or the Stockport Plaza, the latter of which is one of the few art deco cinemas left in the country. Along with films, Stockport Plaza holds live music and theatre performances. There is also The Garrick Theatre, which produces amateur shows.
Stockport also offers plenty of options for shopping, with numerous high street brands and independents stores. There are two shopping centres, the Merseyway and the Peel Centre, as well as Stockport’s 750 year old market.
If you are looking for a spot to eat or drink, Stockport has it covered with a range of cafes, bars and restaurants. There’s everything from mad American burgers to classy Indian curries and local fresh seafood on the menu.
There are plenty of places to get fit in Stockport. There are three athletics clubs along with football, rugby, lacrosse and tennis clubs. The town also boasts a 50 metre swimming pool in the Grand Central leisure centre. It is home to the Stockport Metro Swimming Club, which has produced several Olympic medallists. For those looking to try something a little bit different, Stockport also has a rock climbing centre.
There is an abundance of green spaces in and around Stockport. Eight of the town’s urban and country parks have Green Flag Awards, while Vernon Park is recognised as being nationally important after being restored to its Victorian glory. Further afield is the Lyme Park estate, which is home to the Grade I listed Lyme Hall. It shot to fame when it featured in the BBC adaptation of Pride & Prejudice.
There are many other interesting buildings worth visiting in Stockport. They include Staircase House, which was built in the fifteenth century and allows visitors to experience what medieval life was like in Stockport. To learn more about the history of the town visit the Hat Works - a museum in a former Victorian mill, or take a trip to Stockport Art Gallery and War Memorial.
Weather in Stockport
Stockport has a temperate climate like the rest of the country, with warm summers and cool winters. The average maximum temperatures are recorded in July at just over 20 Celsius, while the average minimum temperatures are in December at 0.6 Celsius. However a record low of -17.6 Celsius was recorded on 8 January 2010. The rainiest months are January, October and December.