Could the fear of Covid cause an exodus in the UK?

Could the fear of Covid cause an exodus in the UK?

The Covid has not deterred the British from moving to central cities.

When Covid arrived in 2020, it was stressful for many urban developers. As the gardens, or the countryside, seemed increasingly crucial to enclosed home hunters, some wondered if their half-finished urban apartment blocks would ever find residents.

But almost two years after the pandemic, speculations about “the death of the city” have been proven wrong. Exclusive figures compiled by The Guardian suggest that thousands more people now live in the most important English urban centres since the coronavirus first arrived in the UK, mainly on flats, often without balconies or outdoor spaces.

According to the local authority, in Liverpool, the city centre population increased by almost 6% in 2020 to 48,594, 2,754 more than in 2019.

Leeds City Council estimates that 5,000 more people live in its centre now than in 2019, including the staff of Channel 4, which opened its national headquarters in the city earlier this year. “We estimate that the total population is now around 38,000,” said a spokesman.

Demand is increasing in central London as tenants return to the city centre, according to the Greater London Authority’s December 2021 housing report. Rightmove data shows a rental price increase of 11.1% since November 2019 and an annual house price increase of 2.7%.

In Manchester, the city centre population is now 69,835, 4.9% more than in 2021, according to council estimates.

“Despite Covid-19, Manchester remains the fastest growing city in England, and the city centre population is expected to be close to 100,000 by 2025,” said Gavin White, executive member of the council for housing and employment.

“The pandemic has not deterred people who want to live in the city, and this is due to a combination of factors. The number of jobs being created (including niche sectors like advanced manufacturing, digital, and technology), culture, sports, and not just soccer, along with a never-before-seen graduate retention rate; These are all reasons why Manchester continues to enjoy enviable urban growth. ”

Others point out that an exodus may not have occurred in the city centre because some apartment owners are trapped and unable to sell them due to siding and fire safety problems.

Only 870 properties were sold in Manchester city centre in 2020-21, a 75% reduction from 2019-20. In its annual State of the City report, the city council blames the drop on “significant constraints on the supply of suitable homes to buy (primarily related to siding and fire safety concerns).”

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