What cities are best for growth in the UK? A question we always ask and one that can sometimes be personal, but what you cannot escape are the cold hard facts of the figures, they don’t lie. Remember, just because a city showed phenomenal growth one year, it doesn’t always mean that it will be top the following year. In addition to this, the reasons for the growth in the first place may be a burst that stalls once it hits a certain level. Picking the best cities and getting it right can be difficult, perhaps some would say almost impossible. Here at Flambard Williams, we believe that with a little research, some local knowledge and a view of an area and what investment is scheduled to take place can all contribute to helping you shorten the odds and provide a good template to predict future moves.
So, where to start? Well, the key to any growth story is an investment, whether it is a large infrastructure project, regeneration and new builds, industry moving to an area or a combination of all these. The resulting impact will always be a movement of people to that particular city and with it the drive on demand, and higher prices. So with this in mind, what are our top picks?
First, and remaining a perennial favourite of ours is Manchester. This city has in the last 5 years seen growth in excess of 30% and is set to continue pushing on, being the main driver of the North West region, which features highly in this list, but not exclusively. Expectations are that Manchester will grow by more than 20% over the next 5 years, coupled with this rents are expected to rise by 3.5% this year and by an impressive 17% over the next 5 years.
Next up, and second in our chart is Liverpool with prices here expected to exceed 20% growth over the next 3 years alone. Liverpool is unusual in that although it saw 5.1% growth in prices 2017, the levels it finds itself at are just above the levels that the market stood at before the credit crisis in 2009, with prices just 6.3% above that marker. For us, this means that with the growth in the region we expect the prices here to outperform even that of Manchester in the next 5 years, although for the next year or so we maintain that Manchester will be the front-runner. With this we expect rentals following this trend too, with expectations of a 3.5% increase for 2018 alone.
Leeds is another great pick and a city on the rise. With its heavy play on financial services and the legal profession dominating, we expect the vibrant property market of Leeds to continue to grow with the growth of around 3.5% this year and with a 5-year forecast close to 20%. Again like Liverpool and Manchester good rental stock in the city centre will continue to rise.
Birmingham & Leicester
The final picks for us are Birmingham and Leicester. These two cities have continued to perform well, with Birmingham the fastest growing regional city back in 2016. With an annual increase of 7.5%, we predict that Birmingham will continue on this trajectory over the next 5 years and Leicester joining in the next few years, with predictions in the region of 18-20%. Again, these cities will find that with city centre living on the rise, rental prices will remain high for good housing stock.