The Urban Renaissance Continues

The Urban Renaissance Continues

According to research by Centre for Cities, young people in the UK are flooding into city centres to live, with substantial increases seen in city centre populations over recent years.

It would appear that cities such as Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle are leading the way with young professionals and students gravitating towards the centres attracted by educational facilities, career opportunities, desirable living spaces and lifestyle benefits.

In a recent article for the BBC, Andrew Carter and Paul Swinney from Centre for Cities described this development as a ‘dramatic urban renaissance’ with figures from the Office of National Statistics revealing that between 2002 and 2015 there had been a 181% increase in city centre living in Liverpool, 163% increase in Birmingham, 149% increase in Manchester and 113% increase in Newcastle.

Driving this trend are a series of new office buildings, luxury apartments, bars, restaurants, gyms and cafes across UK cities with features specifically aimed at attracting a younger audience. Universities have been a key driver with regards to students being attracted to city centres whilst young professionals have been lured to the city by the high-skilled and well-paid employment opportunities that they offer.

For property investors, this has seen a significant demand for PBSA (purpose-built student accommodation) and build-to-rent luxury residential developments arise with many lucrative investment opportunities available.