Using the North to help the South

Going back to your roots is always an eye opening experience. Last weekend I returned to my place of birth, Bradford in West Yorkshire, to see relatives. For the last part of the journey, I shared a taxi with my Mum and Sister, both also born in Bradford. What we saw was enlightening, and a slightly saddening sight. As we drove past a number of impressive looking traditional stone properties, many of them now with boards nailed to the windows and left void, a number of comments were uttered along the lines of “this has changed”. I realised that the housing crisis we see in the South manifests totally differently in the North.

There are large numbers of unoccupied properties in Northern towns and cities, figures of up to 1 million have been suggested. This is the flip side of the housing crisis coin. The headlines go to London, with its property shortages, intense competition and rising prices. London though is an international mega-city, similar to New York or Tokyo. Its popularity only serves to further increase its popularity. In the North there at least appears to be a portion of the solution, standing void and waiting for someone to do something about it. When you consider the increasingly real option of using technology to work remotely, paying through the nose to be close to work starts to make no sense.

Is it as simple as northern cities finding a way to market themselves? The devolution of powers proposed by George Osborne appears to give some of the initiative to them, and Manchester has revealed plans to build thousands of new homes. The strange thing is that although London offers higher wages and a greater variety of work, the standard of living is often much more pleasant in the north.  Fewer crowds, spectacular countryside and larger homes are just part of this. The perception of a better life in the South East prevails currently but things can change. If catalysts can be found to encourage more workers to move north it will greatly decrease the pressure on the London market.

If half the people who visit from the South East for their summer holidays can be persuaded that it’s worth staying permanently, it could be a significant victory in the battle to create a British economy that isn’t powered by the London bubble. Surely renting or owning a house in Yorkshire would be an improvement on sharing beds with strangers in London, as reported in the Guardian this week?  If not then the superior fish and chips should be enough to convince anyone!

Isn't it time that you got involved in the conversation or even blog for us! Email us at blog@retinue-solutions.com.

 

Paul-H

Retinue Solutions | Social Housing Team

Head of RPO Services

Find out more

Contact us

We use cookies to provide you with the best possible browsing experience on our website. You can find out more below.
Cookies are small text files that can be used by websites to make a user's experience more efficient. The law states that we can store cookies on your device if they are strictly necessary for the operation of this site. For all other types of cookies we need your permission. This site uses different types of cookies. Some cookies are placed by third party services that appear on our pages.
+Necessary
Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.
Resolution Used to ensure the correct version of the site is displayed to your device.
essential
Session Used to track your user session on our website.
essential
+Statistics
Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.
Analytics We employ Google Analytics as third party analytics services. This helps us analyse how users interact with our website and to identify patterns. Google Analytics IP address anonymization is also employed, which means we do not store any personal information. This stops individual user identification and re-marketing activities.
Yes
No

More Details