London saw a fresh 30% year-on-year drop in the number of housing starts in the first quarter of this year, the lowest level in a decade excluding the struggles faced in the depths of the pandemic. However, this isn’t the first time Londoner’s have witnessed a drop in new homes, with the actual decline being ever-present since 2015, sending property prices and rents soaring.
On average, a London household makes around 15% more than the rest of the country, however, taking into consideration the rising costs of living and exorbitant housing costs, their back pocket is now no better off than the national household average.
Renters in the capital have witnessed a 40% decline in properties available across the city in comparison to the previous five years, totalling an exodus of people aged 25 to 39 by approximately 4% (82,000) as housing costs weigh almost double in comparison for the same age bracket 30 years before.
Witnessing a decline like no other region in the UK, 13% of first-time buyers are packing up and heading North in hopes for greener grass and the prospects of starting a family.
As a result, the population of children in the capital is also falling, with the number of kids in nursery or Year 1 dropping by 8% in six years. The impact of which has seen over 20 state-funded nurseries and primary schools either close or merge in the past five years, echoing statistics of school closures of those in rural Japan.
London now faces a crisis of its median age rising three times faster than the UK average, losing a powerful, youthful dynamic which once made its city so great.
The crisis down South has seen a positive charge streaming to the North, spurring the redevelopment of many key cities including Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool over the past five to ten years, and is now home to billions of pounds worth of capital projects across both the public and private sectors.
In fact, the UK Government now states that the North ofEngland’s regional economy is worth more than £340 billion and greater thanthat of Austria and Norway, recognising the North as a global centre for creativity and design.
Northern property prices are also currently on average around £100,000 less than down South, seeing an influx in first-time buyers as well as property investors as cities expand redeveloping efforts. With the UKGovernment consciously stating that the North has a higher yield rate in comparison to London, alongside demand and pricing for residential property both set to rise.
While the South is currently taking a fall in the market, theNorth is flourishing at a rate of global interest. Welcoming multiple new generations into its rich heritage within manufacturing and its abundance of global R&D innovations, the North is taking huge strides towards becoming the new productive capital with the youngest dynamics it can, for a prosperous future.