For years there has been a divide between the North and the South. And no, we’re not talking about Game of Thrones! The people of the UK are regularly getting into heated debates about the merits of Gravy VS Quinoa, Dinner VS Tea and of course when it comes to property, the difference between a four-bedroom house VS a studio apartment in London city centre.
However, the rift between the North and South of the UK seems to be dwindling, as an increasing number of southerners are now flocking to the North. It seems as though the rugged countryside, friendly atmosphere and the exceptional pies (don’t forget the pies) are slowly but surely drawing people in.
What does the data say?
Data published by the Countrywide network of estate and lettings agents at the end of 2019 shows that, while in 2009 only 1% of people leaving London bought or rented homes in the north, in 2019 that figure reached 13%.
Even more recently, in January 2020, Hamptons International said strained housing affordability in southern England resulted in more people from London moving to the Midlands and the North of England. According to Money Expert, the data estimates that in 2019, one in seven of those moving out of London to elsewhere in Britain bought homes in the North of England, including the North West, the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber. This is more than 50% higher than the number of Londoners moving up north than in 2016, and three times as many compared to 2009.
The age at which people are deciding to flee the UK’s increasingly expensive capital city is also decreasing. The average age of people leaving London is now 39 – the lowest average age ever recorded, and down from 47 a decade ago. Interestingly, a total of 73,000 homes outside the capital were bought by Londoners in 2019.
The figures are a sure indication of Britain’s shifting human population. This is something that could be exacerbated further due to projects like the £100bn HS2 high-speed rail line which has now been green lit. The new high-speed rail line is expected to drastically cut travel times from London to northern cities.
With a fantastic shopping scene, renowned nightlife, massive suite of restaurants and an ever-increasing list of nearby leisure attractions, it is easy to understand why Manchester has been steadily growing in popularity for some years now. The creation of MediaCity has also had a sizeable impact on the popularity of the area, with many young media-types now seeking opportunities in the Northern city.
Further to this, the countryside on the doorstep and the eclectic mix of villages and towns nearby – like Knutsford, Poynton, Alderley Edge and Wilmslow – are all unavoidable enticements. Many of these suburbs have fantastic transport links into Manchester, making them an ideal place for people to set down roots.
Indeed, it appears as though these often wealthy and always welcoming towns are becoming even more of a lure for southerners looking for a place to call home. And who can blame them? Knutsford, for example, and its surrounding charming villages, has character, soul and those all-important amenities as well.
What more could a Southerner want?!