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Exploring the Future: Rental and Price Growth Forecasts for the UK's Top Six Cities Outside London

The UK's urban landscape is evolving, and nowhere is this more evident than in the dynamic growth of its top six cities forecast outside of London. These cities, often referred to as "The Big Six," have experienced some of the highest increases in new households in recent years, with urban populations growing much faster than their rural counterparts. As we look ahead, the trends in housing demand, development challenges, and economic factors paint an interesting picture for these urban hubs.

Demand and Development Challenges

One of the key drivers behind the changing face of these cities is the relentless demand for homes. As more people flock to urban areas, the pressure on housing stock intensifies. However, meeting this demand is not without its challenges. Issues surrounding development viability mean that fewer new homes are being delivered than needed. This imbalance between supply and demand is a critical factor supporting the continued growth in both prices and rents.

Market Dynamics in 2024 and Beyond

The overall trend points towards growth. Price falls, which JLL had forecast to see in early 2024 have largely failed to materialise, as more competitive rates entered the market. This means JLL now expect prices to rise by +2% nationally this year.

Long-Term Outlook: 2024-2028

Over the next five years, all six cities are expected to outperform their wider regions in terms of both price and rent growth. Among them, Edinburgh, Manchester, and Birmingham stand out as the leaders. These cities are projected to see the strongest growth, driven by their ability to attract a significant proportion of new households. The vibrancy and economic opportunities in these cities make them magnets for people seeking new homes and better livelihoods.

City-Specific Insights

  • Edinburgh: Known for its rich history and vibrant cultural scene, Edinburgh is also becoming a hotbed for new household growth. Its unique blend of old-world charm and modern amenities continues to draw in residents, supporting strong growth in both property prices and rents. Edinburgh cumulative price growth and rental growth is predicted to be 16.9% and 25.8% respectively between 2024-2028.

  • Manchester: Often dubbed the "Capital of the North," Manchester is a key player in the UK's economic landscape. Its thriving industries, cultural attractions, and educational institutions make it a prime location for

  • new households, driving robust price and rent increases. Manchester cumulative price growth and rental growth is predicted to be 16.9% and 25.8% respectively between 2024-2028.

  • Birmingham: As the UK's second-largest city, Birmingham boasts a diverse economy and a strategic location at the heart of the country. The city’s ongoing regeneration projects and investment in infrastructure are set to bolster its appeal, leading to significant growth in the housing market. Birmingham cumulative price growth and rental growth is predicted to be 17.5% and 25.2% respectively between 2024-2028.


In summary, the top six cities outside of London are set to continue their trajectory of growth, despite facing some short-term challenges in early 2024. The combination of high demand, limited new housing stock, and the inherent attractiveness of these urban centres will support ongoing increases in property prices and rents. Edinburgh, Manchester, and Birmingham, in particular, are poised to lead the charge, offering promising opportunities for both residents and investors alike. As we navigate the coming years, keeping an eye on these vibrant cities will be essential for anyone interested in the UK’s property market.

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