Insight 2 – Thirtysomething and moving to Birmingham
Jamie Cullum’s song Twentysomething depicted a young man having finished an expensive education and contemplating whether to get a job, go travelling or just fall in love. I presume that same character is now married to the love of his life, has a toddler and a labrador in tow and has fond memories of adventures in far flung destinations. He will probably have worked much longer than the 9-5 hours he was singing about in a competitive London office to earn enough money to buy a one bedroom flat in Islington and he more than likely looks closer to forty two than his actual thirty two years. And he is probably at this exact moment looking at Rightmove for a house in or around Birmingham like hundreds of other ambitious and savvy thirtysomethings.
I am one such thirtysomething that has brought my family back to the area I grew up in, after more than ten years in the capital. Birmingham and Warwickshire are on the rise, Michelin-starred restaurants, a vibrant atmosphere and beautiful countryside close to the commercial hub make Birmingham the place to be. The average price in London is over £400,000 and in 2015 we are going to see more and more people coming here from the capital to buy a bigger home and enjoy a better lifestyle.
Figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that, in the year to June last year, 58,220 people aged 30-39 left the capital – the highest number on record and a 10% increase on 2010. Overall, there was a net outflow of almost 22,000 thirtysomethings. The last time there was a comparable figure was in 2008 – the year of the credit crisis.
This may be one reason why Birmingham has become the favourite destination for those in their 30s fleeing the capital. The city attracted 5,480 Londoners in the 12 months to June 2013 and you can see why; people want to find a new work-life balance and Birmingham and the surrounding towns and villages offer this. People in their thirties and forties are seeking to balance the demands of parenthood, secure well-paid jobs and buy a bigger house than they can afford in the capital.
We were living in a flat in London and now we are looking to buy a beautiful three bedroom house, close to countryside and within a twenty minute commute to the Jewellery Quarter. It’s a lifestyle we dreamed of when we were stuck on the tube, said Mr A. Lang, a PR executive.
Birmingham has been transformed and last year attracted record levels of foreign business investment. It is no longer the ugly city that people used to refer to it as. Birmingham is buzzing at the moment. The city feels vibrant with restaurants opening, independent coffee shops a plenty and the shopping is diverse and much easier to get around than in London. It offers us everything we had in London, said Lang.
We are tearing down the concrete of the 60s, transforming the city centre and dramatically improving transport links, said Neil Rami, chief executive of Marketing Birmingham. The region is already a global hub for advanced manufacturing, but exciting companies in sectors like digital technology and e-commerce are springing up all the time.
I think Jamie Cullum should pen a new song about the thirtysomethings living the good life in the Midlands!