Which cities are surviving the recession best and possess the greatest potential to grow after it’s over? These are just two questions of interest to anyone planning to move home in the coming months and Primelocation has the answers – taken from a report by Centre for Cities.
The headline is that Milton Keynes is the fastest growing city in the UK and has 30,000 (or 14%) more people living there than a decade ago, followed (in descending order) York, Swindon, Norwich, Cambridge, Leeds, Bristol, Peterborough, Oxford and Ipswich. But the top ten cities where growth is in reverse – and as are their local economies – are Rochdale, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Stoke, Liverpool, Burnley, Sunderland, Birkenhead and Dundee.
So gives with Milton Keynes? Local agent Simon Proctor at Knight Frank, says the “old perception of Milton Keynes as roundabouts and concrete cows is fading fast”. And he also says that following the recent arrival of booming bank Santander, the Red Bull racing team’s presence, and the announcement that Network Rail is transferring its headquarters to a newly-built centre, the city is “buzzing”.
Simon adds that the “economic and population growth reported today has been aided by a supportive local authority which, with the Homes and Communities Agency, brought forward large areas of housing.” But it’s not all plain sailing in the land cycle paths, as “inner-city property is now seriously limited and the new-build apartments and family housing needed by the younger buyer are simply not yet available,” he says.
But back to the Centre for Cities report. It also nails down which cities will be hammered hardest by the public sector job cuts. So not good news for Newport in Wales, where 4.3% of all its jobs will go, followed by Newport (4.1%), Plymouth (3.1%), Liverpool (3%) and Portsmouth (2.97%). But by sheer volume Liverpool will be the hardest hit – some 10,600 will go as the government sheds its local workforce.
And the report also includes some nice infographics (or ‘charts’ in old currency) including this one (see above) highlighting 32 cities and grading them by the average welfare budget cut per person, and it’s not hard to see that siome parts of the North West of England are in for a hard year.
So where to live if you want to avoid all this? The cities with the most promising futures are Aberdeen, Bristol, Leeds, Milton Keynes and Reading - all of which feature good employment rates and low exposure to public sector job and spending cuts.