Thirty years ago, inner city populations that had grown rapidly in the late 19th and early 20th centuries began to decline and dwindle as residents swapped cramped urban housing for spacious suburbs and newly-created towns.
Now, we are experiencing the reversal – especially in the north of England and the Midlands – , demonstrating a dramatic urban renaissance and a shift in how people want to live.
Since the start of the 21st century, the populations of towns and cities across the UK have doubled in size, and the population of the UK as a whole has increased by 10%.
Older generations are settled in the suburbs; the shift back towards city centre living is down to young people. Some are students, whose numbers grew with the expansion of university education, but the main factor pulling them back in is work.
Young, single professionals are the driving force of the change.
The number of 20 to 29-year-olds in the centre of large cities (those with 550,000 people or more) tripled in the first decade of the 21st Century, to a point where they made up half of the population. There is no reason to think that this trend has eased since the census.
Only one in five city centre residents was married or in a civil partnership at the time of the census, while three-quarters were renting flats and apartments. More than a third had a degree, (compared with 27% in the suburbs and outskirts of cities).
Hannah McCartan, MD of McCartan Lettings, comments “Reviewing information like this is essential to understand future rental markets. If demand for Swansea City Centre has increased the population by over 60% to 2015 and shows no sign of ceasing, think about how great that will be in 5 years time, or even as soon as when the Kingsway has been finished and the Arena has been built.
We need to make sure we have enough of the right types of rental property available to meet future demand, and planning your investments based on information like this is key.”
There is no way of saying exactly where a city centre starts or stops. To allow for a comparison between towns and cities with 135,000 or more people, the Centre for Cities mapped them from the middle of their shopping and business areas as follows:
- a two-mile radius from the centre of London
- a 0.8-mile radius from the centre of cities with 550,000 to four million residents
- a 0.6-mile radius from the centre of towns and cities of 135,000 to 550,000
Using this measure, Swansea has been listed as having a 63% population growth between 2002 and 2015.
If you’d like some free, expert advice on the best areas to Buy-to-Let in Swansea and how make sure your property appeals to city professionals, you can arrange a consultation with McCartan Managing Director Hannah by clicking here.
Images Source: BBC