Londoners are moving to Birmingham by the hordes, with the latest internal migration reports showing that the majority of people who move away from London are headed to Brum. Is this seemingly major population shift just a temporary phase, or will Birmingham one day become the capital of England? While we can’t yet go that far, we can safely assume that even more Londoners will be moving to the second biggest city in the next 5 years due to the number of new jobs that are popping up in the area. Of course, jobs aren’t the only incentive for Londoners to move to Brum, so here are the top 10 reasons why this trend is occurring.
1. More Affordable
Let’s face it, a lower cost of living is the primary reason why Londoners are moving to Birmingham. In fact, in many cases that is the sole motivating factor behind the decision. Rent isn’t the only thing that’s cheaper in Birmingham – pretty much everything is less expensive than in London. Despite the fact that Birmingham is located within 50 miles of London, products and hospitality services are almost always significantly lower.
From the hotel to the Birmingham Airport Meet and Greet (see birminghamparking.com), newcomers immediately take note of that the quality of service comparable to that in London. In fact, when it comes to the Birmingham Airport Parking services, some people find that you get more for the money here than in London.
2. Recent Developments
During the past decade many businesses and developers have come to Birmingham and have transformed the face of the city both physically and economically. These recent developments often surprise visitors who haven’t been to Birmingham in a long time, so it has the lure of being a very new and fast-growing place. Meanwhile, the opposite seems to be happening in London, where there’s been an 80% increase in the number of residents leaving for other places. Most of London’s greatest building and developments are now already decades old, so there’s something about the newly improved Birmingham that has Londoners wanting to move there.
3. Following Investors and Big Companies
Many Londoners are moving to Birmingham either because their current employment requires them to do so, or because they’re starting anew job. In the past three years there’s been an influx of big companies migrating to Birmingham, including HSBC – relocating their main headquarters to Brum and bringing more than 1,000 jobs along with it. One of the biggest advantages of living in London is its industry, but Birmingham offers a reasonable alternative in a business sense and it’s not that far away. In addition, businesses that are based in London find a move to Birmingham to be the most economical decision because transporting equipment and transferring workers doesn’t require an extended commute.
4. Grants Being Offered
Some of the people moving to Birmingham from London are actually being transferred from boroughs where authorities can no longer afford to pay for their housing. Thus, rather than continue funding their housing in areas of London where rent is on the rise, those authorities have moved the residents to parts of Birmingham. In fact, the Wandsworth Council is offering grants of up to £7,000 for people willing to move to Birmingham.
5. Starting a Family
For couples who aren’t yet parents and/or homeowners, the idea of having kids and buying a house in London can be terrifying when you start thinking about how expensive things can get in the long-term. Plus, Birmingham is known for having great schools and there are certainly worse neighbourhoods and social influences in London, even though both cities do have their sore spots. However, it’s fairly obvious that London has some areas where the environment is just too bad to justify the high property prices. Between the inexplicably high cost of living and the negative social influences, it’s easy to see why many Londoners are looking to relocate to cities like Birmingham before settling down and starting a family.
6. Getting Away from the Crowds
People who live and work in London can understandably grow weary of the amount of crowding there is while in the community, shopping, or even just walking down the street. The areas of London that are actually calm and uncrowded have such high property values that it’s really only an option for the wealthy. Birmingham has areas where it’s possible to own a spacious house on a quiet street for much less than you’d be paying for a smaller apartment in a cramped London borough.
7. Looking for Another Big City
London is definitely still the biggest city in the UK and it still has its cultural perks, but for many Londoners there simply is no reason to continuing paying such a high cost of living when they can easily keep the same big city lifestyle yet pay less in Birmingham. The fact that Birmingham is a relatively short drive away also makes it a very easy move for Londoners who don’t want to move too far away from friends and family.
8. Yearning for Countryside
Many people who live in London were raised in more rural areas, so it’s only a matter of time before they start yearning for some scenery and serenity. Even people who’ve spent their whole life in the city will eventually find themselves travelling to some of the smaller surrounding towns and villages, and there’s usually an unshakable appeal to living that kind of lifestyle after you’ve become accustomed to the hustle and bustle of the Big Smoke. While Birmingham does have its busy city centre, there are plenty of suburbs.
9. Keeping the Best of Both Worlds
To live in London, you have to be fairly committed living in a busy urban environment, as there aren’t many parts of the city that aren’t densely populated. On the other hand, you don’t have to make that choice in Birmingham because the countryside is so close and there are many quieter parts of Birmingham that have a small town feel to them. Plus, Londoners get to stay within close proximity of their old home town when they choose Birmingham, so they get the best of the country and city while also keeping close contact with their previous home.
10. People are Calling Birmingham the New London
While Birmingham has traditionally been known as London’s “second city,” many people have started referring to it as the “new London” in recent years due to the sheer number of citizens and companies that are moving there from the capital. Of course, in this age of social media status updates and viral hashtags, gaining a nickname like that could be having a measurable effect on the city’s popularity and growth, which certainly seems to be the case in recent years.
Has London Lost Its Appeal?
When you start realising just how many Londoners are leaving for Birmingham, you might assume that there’s something very special about it that is drawing people in. But is that really the case, or has London simply lost its shine? Out of the 100,000 Londoners that moved out of the city in 2016, only about 6,000 of them moved to Birmingham. From that statistic one could argue that since less than 10% of Londoners who moved went to Birmingham, there may be a burgeoning collective dislike for London instead of just the aforementioned extra perks in Birmingham.