Rewind 30 years or so, and things looked a little different. Many of our city centres were in states of dilapidation and decline, while populations dwindled as a generation moved out to more spacious locations in nearby towns and villages.
Yet since the turn of the 21st Century, the population of many city centres has more than doubled in size. So why have we returned?
A city’s centre is its focal point. A bustling city centre is often seen as a source of pride, while a centre on the decline can represent the struggles of a local economy.
Many UK city centres have benefitted from a boom in investment, with new employment and residential opportunities making them more attractive to would-be movers. Birmingham’s city centre population is among the fastest growing in the UK thanks in part to a series of new developments, while Coventry is also on the up since securing the title of UK City of Culture for 2021.
A Young Person’s Game
The revival of city centre living has been largely driven by younger demographics, with older generations not yet returning in similar numbers.
The expansion of university education is one key factor, with the likes of Sheffield, Liverpool and Leeds all seeing their central populations swell with students.
The fastest increasing demographic however is young professionals, with the number of 20-29-year olds in the centre of large UK cities tripling in the first decade of the 21st century. It’s a trend that shows little sign of slowing.
Growing Employment and Housing Opportunities
Possibly aided by increased levels of degree-level education, many UK cities now offer a growing number of highly-skilled and highly-paid office jobs.
The South in particular is drawing financial and legal professionals in their droves, reflecting the growing importance of the two sectors in the UK economy.
Housing availability is also on the rise with new-build construction levels rising to meet increased demand. Expert estate agents such as those at Andrews could help you join those on the move.
The increase in the urban migration of young professionals has seen new amenities such as bars, restaurants and gyms pop up in great numbers, bringing with them lifestyle benefits that for many outweigh factors like smaller living spaces or pollution.
Other lifestyle benefits making the city more appealing include the option to ditch a long commute for the option of walking or cycling in to work.