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UK’s Top Cities Predictions & Property Market Trends (2020)

UK's Top Cities Predictions and Property Market Trends

I think you’ll agree with me when I say the UK property market is in a huge mess right now.

Should I sell? Should I invest? Should I move to a different city? These are all common questions people simply don’t have the answers too.

Well, that’s why we’re here. The team here at Housebuyers4u has put together a brief overview of 14 of the biggest cities in the UK & how each property market may fare in the future.

We’re positive the information provided will help you in making positive property related decisions based on your own personal circumstances.


14 Key UK Cities Including Size, Population, Average House Price & Outlook Score


The UK may be a small nation in comparison to some large countries like the U.S. but it still has its own very distinctive regions and each large city has its own unique property market.

The market of each individual city is affected by geographical location, population, infrastructure, the economy, supply and demand and to some extent the history of the area.

In this article we will take a look at a brief history and overview of the biggest UK cities by population, some historical stats when it comes to the property market and the outlook for the near future.

As national house buyers we are interested in a wide range of property markets in the UK and want to share some of our knowledge and insights with you in this article.

We will help deepen your knowledge of the housing market, the recent history and prospects for key cities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and we’ll also give a rating for each city based on its history and prospects for the future. The cities included in this article are:

  1. London
  2. Birmingham
  3. Liverpool
  4. Nottingham
  5. Sheffield
  6. Bristol
  7. Leeds
  8. Newcastle
  9. Manchester
  10. Glasgow
  11. Edinburgh
  12. Cardiff
  13. Swansea
  14. Belfast

Let’s get started.


1) London


London city statistics including it's size, population, average house price and outlook score in 2020


While London is more expensive than most areas of the UK to buy property, (for example prices in London tend to be double that of prices in Yorkshire) Over the past few years the value of homes in the capital have been falling after years of annual growth.

House prices in London are continuing to decline according to the latest GLA Housing and Land market report. The results released in November 2019 show that in outer London, the speed of decline appears to be increasing.

Research in April 2019 shows that London house prices are now off their peak in 2014/15 by nearly 25 per cent and flats by 21.7 per cent. This now takes flat values back to those last seen in 2012 and houses back to their level in 2010.

A major factor that will affect property in the London area in 2020 and beyond is Brexit and the outlook for employment in the city, particularly in the finance industry. Major banks such as Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, and HSBC have moved staff from London to other European financial hubs.

As national house buyers we understand that London often operates in its own financial and housing climate that is separate from other areas of the UK.

Outlook Score: 6/10 

2) Birmingham


Birmingham city statistics including it's size, population, average house price and outlook score in 2020


Prices in Birmingham are still relatively competitive compared to other major UK cities – and average prices for property in the city is just over £200,000.  Sold prices are 4% up on the previous year and 17% up on the 2016 level of around £175,000.

Birmingham is often called the UK’s second city and has good employment prospects, plus a number of top universities. The cities Big City Plan, a 20-year masterplan, aims to generate 50,000 new jobs and £2.1 billion for the economy annually while HS2 will provide high speed rail links to London, Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds at reduced journey times and provide a significant economic boost.

Knight Frank believe this will help the economy grow by more than a quarter in the next decade, with a rapid population growth adding 100,000 more households within the next two decades.

Outlook Score: 8/10 

3) Liverpool


Liverpool city statistics including it's size, population, average house price and outlook score in 2020


As part of our role as national house buyers we take a keen interest in the trends for regional areas. The city of Liverpool has transformed over the past few years with billions worth of projects completed and £14bn of regeneration projects in progress or in the planning, helping to fuel impressive economic growth.

In December 2019, the average price for property in Liverpool was £176,57 showing a rise of 0.06% over the past three months from September 2019 according to data from Zoopla.

These figures also show a rise of 0.22% from 12 months ago.

Breaking down the average price further into property types, terraced houses sold for an average of £113,660 and flats sold for an average of £148,552.

Overall house prices in Liverpool are relatively low compared to the average across the UK.

In August 2018’s UK Cities House Price Index, Liverpool showed the highest level of growth out of all UK cities, with a rise of 7.5% in the 12 months prior, compared with 3.6% average across all UK cities.

Outlook Score: 7/10 

4) Nottingham


Nottingham city statistics including it's size, population, average house price and outlook score in 2020


Nottingham is the biggest centre in the East Midlands and the hub for the region in terms of sport, shopping, culture and leisure.

The city is benefiting from a booming visitor economy with 267,000 visits a year, in part boosted by the legend of Robin Hood and Sherwood Forest.

Property prices are also relatively affordable in the city and data from Zoopla showed that the average price for property in Nottingham stood at £214,033 in December 2019 – a rise of 2.61% since 12 months ago.

Flats in Nottingham sold for an average of £145,146 with terraced houses going for an average of £136,668.

Outlook Score: 5/10 

5) Sheffield


Sheffield city statistics including it's size, population, average house price and outlook score in 2020


The traditional industries in Sheffield such as iron, steel and cutlery have declined and as in other UK cities there is a shift in employment towards service industries.

The average price for property in Sheffield in December 2019 was £208,208 – a fall of 0.01% in the last three months.

Property growth in Sheffield is predicted to be reserved after decades of weaker wage rises. In terms of property types, flats in Sheffield sold for an average of £147,996 and terraced houses for £150,727.

Outlook Score: 4/10 

6) Bristol


Bristol city statistics including it's size, population, average house price and outlook score in 2020


Bristol is a key regional city that offers great links into London, Oxford, Cardiff and Bath.

Historically Bristol was best known for its shipping and trading industries, but today the economy is underpinned by the financial services industry, aerospace, creative media, and electronics.

There are a number of development plans in progress offering new homes. This includes Bristol’s highest residential tower, along with a number of other new development schemes being proposed. There is currently a strong demand for city centre homes, where one and two bed apartments are particularly popular.

For those in Bristol looking to work with national house buyers it might be worth knowing some of the latest average property prices. These figures were at £339,971 in December 2019. This is a rise of 0.08% in the last three months and a rise of 0.80% from 12 months prior.

Flats sold for an average of £253,367 and terraced houses for £296,290.

Outlook Score: 6/10 

7) Leeds


Leeds city statistics including it's size, population, average house price and outlook score in 2020


Yorkshire is predicted to outperform the majority of the nation in terms of property price increases in the next 5 years, and JLL believe that house prices in Leeds will grow by 17.1 per cent by 2023.

Leeds is set for more improvements and development over the next few years including improving transportation across the city and wider region.

There are plans to provide substantial regeneration in South Bank, and bring further investment and population growth to the city. This is expected to positively impact the property market and the city as a whole.

The average price for property in Leeds stood at £224,200 in December 2019. This is a rise of 0.11% in the last three months and rise of 1.55% from 12 months ago.

If you are looking for UK home buyers, it’s worth noting we cover the area of Leeds, and other cities across Yorkshire.

Outlook Score: 8/10 

8) Newcastle


Newcastle city statistics including it's size, population, average house price and outlook score in 2020


Property prices in Newcastle have fallen back to 2017 levels, as revealed by recent figures from the Land Registry.

The data shows the average price of a home in the city was £153,049 in June 2019 and the last time prices were as low was in May 2017.

Overall prices in Newcastle dropped by 4% in the year to June, the biggest annual fall since a drop of 4.8% in the year to April 2013.

The new data paints a mixed picture for North East homeowners, but on the upside Newcastle is one of the fastest growing cities in the UK, with 21,000 new homes and 14,000 new jobs expected within the next 12 years, and a population growth of 6% by 2030.

There’s also been good investment and in 2018, £27 million in venture capital funding was invested in Newcastle based companies – more than Leeds, Birmingham, and Glasgow.

Outlook Score: 5/10

9) Manchester


Manchester city statistics including it's size, population, average house price and outlook score in 2020


Manchester property is continuing to gain strength with more people moving to the city centre so it may be a good time to sell up if it’s been on your mind for a while.

According to the latest figures from JLL, demand for central Manchester property is booming with a 117% rise in people moving to the city in July 2019 compared to 2018.

Over recent years more than a few major businesses have relocated to Manchester including the BBC. The major brand TalkTalk is the latest to relocate to Manchester and the population of the city is expected to attract more people to Manchester for the growing number of career prospects.

Outlook Score: 8/10

10) Glasgow


Glasgow city statistics including it's size, population, average house price and outlook score in 2020


According to Rightmove house prices in Glasgow remained at a similar level to the year before but were down 34% from the 2006 average of £267,429.

Zoopla figures for December 2019 meanwhile showed that the average price for property in Glasgow stood was £195,2176.

In Scotland and north-east England, house prices are expected to jump by nearly one-fifth (19.9%) according to estate agency Savills.

Quality of life, good schools and economic growth is likely to drive growth in the area.

Outlook Score: 8/10

11) Edinburgh


Edinburgh city statistics including it's size, population, average house price and outlook score in 2020


International property consultancy JLL is forecasting the Scottish residential property market and specifically Edinburgh’s property market to be in the top 5 performing residential markets in the UK in the next few years.

The population of the city is expected to grow strongly over the next 5 years with 18,000 new residents moving to the City over that time. House prices are expected to grow by 3% year on year for the next 4 years to the end of 2023.

The continued shortage of new properties being built, will be well short of demand and house prices and rental values will continue to grow.

Related: UK’s Top 10 Cheapest & Most Expensive Places to Rent Revealed

Outlook Score: 8/10

12) Cardiff


Cardiff city statistics including it's size, population, average house price and outlook score in 2020


Cardiff is the ­closest capital city to London, and will only be 105 minutes by train when the electrification of the line is completed this year.

Zoopla’s ­index of house prices across UK cities puts Cardiff’s growth at 3.9 per cent in the year to May, the ninth highest in the UK, and above its neighbour Bristol, which recorded 2.1 per cent growth.

The cities  population has increased 10 per cent since 2008 with another 10 per cent growth forecast by 2028.

The average price for property in Cardiff was £253,089 in December 2019 according to current Zoopla estimates.

Outlook Score: 7/10

13) Swansea


Swansea city statistics including it's size, population, average house price and outlook score in 2020


According to Rightmove overall sold prices in Swansea over the last year were 3% up on the previous year and 8% up on the 2016 level of £147,730.

The average price for property in Swansea reached £182,959 in December 2019.

There are a number of major development schemes underway in the city including SA1 Waterfront.

Migration has increased by 13,000 in the past 10 years, and will continue to increase in the coming years.

Outlook Score: 6/10

14) Belfast


Belfast city statistics including it's size, population, average house price and outlook score in 2020


Property in Belfast had a hard downturn from 2008 to 2015 where prices fell by up to 60 per cent in the better areas. Prices were at their peak in 2007 before falling dramatically over the following years.

The average price for property in Belfast reached £159,634 in December 2019. Flats in Belfast sold for an average of £133,513 and terraced houses for £131,315.

A continued lack of supply of housing across the north is perceived to be a key contributor in driving up prices, but figures will move upwards at a relatively slow rate.

Outlook Score: 6/10

A Final Word


It’s clear that there are mixed fortunes ahead for the major UK cities.

Growth is relatively slow in a number of areas due to years of stagnating wage increases, the financial austerity put in place since the financial crisis and the uncertainty over Brexit.

However, there are some areas outside of London that are expected to grow in value over the next few years so if you’re looking to move or invest in a city with a healthy property market and economy, some recommended cities in England would include:

  • Manchester
  • Leeds
  • Birmingham
  • Liverpool

Up in Scotland you’d have a choice of:

  • Edinburgh
  • Glasgow

All of the above would be safe and solid choices as of the beginning of 2020.

We hope our article has been useful to you and helps you make a more informed decision when it comes to your future in the property market!


Was the information in our article useful? Or were you looking for something different? If so, let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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