I lived in Manchester a while ago and it seems from my research that the city has developed a lot now and it is quite a cosmopolitan place.
House prices are expensive in the UK, but Manchester will certainly be cheaper than London. Have a read of our Accommodation in Manchester page for more information.
There are lots of varied areas where one can choose to live in Manchester and where you begin your property search will depend on your requirements and budget. Didsbury is particularly popular amongst young professionals and new famillies.
Hope this helpful.