Are northern cities now more popular than London?

24th February 2021

By Will Leyland

As things start to return back to normal for the UK following an extremely difficult 12 months, it’s now that some of the consequences of that are coming to light.

As the dust begins to settle and the implications become clearer, we’re starting to see what the new urban landscape may be starting to look like and certainly the housing situation across the UK appears to be changing quite quickly too.

If we stop to imagine that just short of half of the working population in the UK had to begin working from home almost overnight and have broadly stayed there for the best part of a year, it was inevitable that it would have some lasting impacts in the way people lived and worked.

Attitudes towards housing have subsequently been changing in line with this and have brought in some interesting developments. For example, virtual viewings are anticipated to become much more prevalent even with restrictions lifted due to the ease and flexibility they bring.

Another big change that appears to be coming over the horizon, however, is how people view city living and what that entails.

London exodus

London, as the country’s (and one of Europe’s) most expensive city, is one of those areas that seems to be about to undergo quite a significant change thanks to people’s changing attitudes.

According to The Guardian, “London leavers bought 73,950 homes outside the capital in 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic led the biggest exodus from London in four years.

The research found that the average distance moved by a Londoner buying outside the capital hit 40 miles for the first time in more than a decade, up from 28 miles during the first three months of the year.”

It noted that due to the high cost of living in London many had reconsidered whether it’s worth paying so much of their income on living within the city. The capital had largely attracted young professionals that needed to be there for work but since the big shift towards home working this was no longer a necessity for many.

Manchester, Leeds & Liverpool

Whilst many of those moving out of London were looking for a more rural setting, the majority were actually re-locating into other cities and in northern England - it was actually recorded that there was an increase in activity within these areas.

Looking at property price data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that property prices in northern England had rocketed whilst traditional hot spots in and around the capital had struggled.

Published by the BBC, the research showed that “The average UK house price reached a record high of £252,000 in December 2020, the Office for National Statistics said.

The North West had the highest growth of 11.2%, while London rose just 3.5%.”

This, it would seem, would reflect what many property investors and landlords are seeing on the ground in these cities as demand soars higher for privately rented and buy to let properties.

2020 was a surprisingly good year for property in northern England, and it would seem that the trend is set to continue with many shunning the south in favour of booming northern cities.

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Are northern cities now more popular than London?

24 February 2021

As things start to return back to normal for the UK following an extremely difficult 12 months, it’s now that some of the consequences of that are coming to light.

As the dust begins to settle and the implications become clearer, we’re starting to see what the new urban landscape may be starting to look like and certainly the housing situation across the UK appears to be changing quite quickly too.

If we stop to imagine that just short of half of the working population in the UK had to begin working from home almost overnight and have broadly stayed there for the best part of a year, it was inevitable that it would have some lasting impacts in the way people lived and worked.

Attitudes towards housing have subsequently been changing in line with this and have brought in some interesting developments. For example, virtual viewings are anticipated to become much more prevalent even with restrictions lifted due to the ease and flexibility they bring.

Another big change that appears to be coming over the horizon, however, is how people view city living and what that entails.

London exodus

London, as the country’s (and one of Europe’s) most expensive city, is one of those areas that seems to be about to undergo quite a significant change thanks to people’s changing attitudes.

According to The Guardian, “London leavers bought 73,950 homes outside the capital in 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic led the biggest exodus from London in four years.

The research found that the average distance moved by a Londoner buying outside the capital hit 40 miles for the first time in more than a decade, up from 28 miles during the first three months of the year.”

It noted that due to the high cost of living in London many had reconsidered whether it’s worth paying so much of their income on living within the city. The capital had largely attracted young professionals that needed to be there for work but since the big shift towards home working this was no longer a necessity for many.

Manchester, Leeds & Liverpool

Whilst many of those moving out of London were looking for a more rural setting, the majority were actually re-locating into other cities and in northern England - it was actually recorded that there was an increase in activity within these areas.

Looking at property price data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that property prices in northern England had rocketed whilst traditional hot spots in and around the capital had struggled.

Published by the BBC, the research showed that “The average UK house price reached a record high of £252,000 in December 2020, the Office for National Statistics said.

The North West had the highest growth of 11.2%, while London rose just 3.5%.”

This, it would seem, would reflect what many property investors and landlords are seeing on the ground in these cities as demand soars higher for privately rented and buy to let properties.

2020 was a surprisingly good year for property in northern England, and it would seem that the trend is set to continue with many shunning the south in favour of booming northern cities.

Will Leyland

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