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Young people eye up a return to city life

City life suffered severely during the pandemic but bustling urban centres are set for a comeback – JLL report.

Richard Reed

city life london

Young people will drive a return to city life in the wake of the pandemic, according to a new report.

While families will continue to look for homes with gardens, or even more rural locations, 20-somethings have a different agenda.

After more than a year of Covid restrictions, the desire to get back to the buzz of urban living will release pent-up demand, says property consultancy JLL.

As a result, the firm forecasts continued strong house-price growth for the rest of the year in all markets – including city centres.

JLL says changing priorities will continue to drive buyer and renter behaviour, with a dedicated space for home-working and a garden remaining a focus for families. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of those questioned in the survey think private outdoor space is ‘extremely important’ (versus 43% pre-Covid).

However, the demand for city living will also bounce back in 2021 with a growing appetite to return to social, bustling urban centres, particularly driven by younger generations.

JLL has been monitoring rising demand for homes in key cities, prompting expectations for strong house price and rental growth in London and other major regional UK cities over the next 12 months.

Price growth is forecast to be 4.5% in the UK and 6% across London in 2021.

city life infogtaphic

The report says that as the recovery progresses, city life will bounce back quickly, with offices, shops and food and beverage outlets benefiting from a surge in activity.

Looking further ahead, cities in the North and Midlands will see a longer term boost from the large-scale new infrastructure investment and other policies as part of the ‘levelling up’ agenda.

Meanwhile London will benefit from the opening of Crossrail in 2022, making journeys into London easier.

JLL says that as a result of the collapse in retail, there are now 80,000 obsolete shops in the UK. Repurposing this excess stock will unlock space for growth and enable the built environment to better serve future cities and workforces.

June 27, 2021

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