PHILIP’S BLOG 03/12/2014



London, MJ Direct, Birmingham’s City Centre flatsAre we now finally seeing the beginnings of a proper renaissance of powerful regional Cities? The power house Cities which led the UK (and the world)through Victorian times could be on the way back helped almost by default by the overpricing & increasing expense of London. Regional Cities are being energised by ambitious thirty somethings who are increasingly turning their backs on London & perhaps looking forward to devolved regional power, mimicking some of what has been given recently to Scotland

The Office for National statistics has just reported a 10% increase in thirty year olds coming out of London but suggested this might be a fraction of the true number. With London recording a 19% house price increase this year the statistics might be easier to explain. The average London house now costs over £400k compared to £185k on average in the UK. Birmingham has become the favourite destination, followed by Manchester, Nottingham & Oxford. Many of the incomers are coming back to the City of their higher education & the City’s successful Universities are undoubtedly helping, alongside the demands of parenthood, the increasing choice of secure higher skilled jobs available & the local housing ladder offering a wide variety.

Another factor which used to be London’s trump card was the PLU ,people like us, social tie. However Birmingham now boasting four Michelin restaurants, many great bars & pubs alongside the Library plus a selection of large arenas constantly attracting the biggest names of pop and show business it is perhaps becoming easier to understand. Cities like neighbourhoods take off if the residents feel the area is on the rise. Good PR plus successful businesses undoubtedly help but Birmingham is starting again to feel again as a place to be, some way away from the once unloved concrete metropolis.

Philip Jackson