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Moving From London to Birmingham

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Written by Reviewed by Dave Sayce

25th Apr 2023 (Last updated on 20th Feb 2024) 7 minute read

While London is a fantastic place to live, many people are choosing to move away from “The Big Smoke” to quieter cities across the UK.

Birmingham is a popular choice for many people as the cost of living is lower. You’re surrounded by beautiful countryside, and the transport links to the rest of the UK are great.

In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about moving to Birmingham from London.

  1. Why are People Moving From London to Birmingham?
  2. Property Prices
  3. Travel and Commuting
  4. Work and Salary
  5. Cost of Living
  6. Education
  7. Culture/Art
  8. Nightlife/Social Scene
  9. Is it Worth Moving to Birmingham from London?
  10. Removals from London to Birmingham

Why are People Moving From London to Birmingham?

Birmingham remains one of the most popular places for people to move to from London. According to The Mirror, 20,160 people moved to Birmingham from London between 2015-2017. These numbers continue to rise each year.

Being the third largest city in the UK with a population of 2,607,437 according to Statista, it's not a surprise that people are choosing to make the move. There are many reasons why people are moving from London to Birmingham. The lower cost of living is one of the main reasons why Londoners choose to make the move.

As property and rental prices are so high in London, many people are unable to afford this on a long-term basis. Birmingham prices offer a solution, especially in the suburbs. This provides people with the opportunity to get their foot on the property ladder.

While Birmingham is still busy and has crowded streets, it’s a lot quieter compared to London. Having good transport links means people can still travel to London and other parts of the UK fairly quickly.

Property Prices

The UK House Price Index shows that the average house price in Birmingham is £236,820. Rightmove shows the average house price in London is £670,468. Purchasing a property in Birmingham is 65% less expensive than in London.

The best places in Birmingham to live include the city centre, Harborne, the Jewellery Quarter and Brindley Place.

Affordable areas of the city are Nechells, Winson Green, and Aston. Expensive areas of Birmingham include Little Sutton and Roughley, Harborne East and Wylde Green.

To rent in Birmingham, you can expect to pay an average of £1,510 according to Home.co.uk. This is significantly lower than £4,642, which is the average London rental cost. With rental costs being 3 times less expensive, Birmingham is a more affordable option.

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Travel and Commuting

Birmingham is a hub for travel and helps to connect many areas of the UK. It’s a popular location for people to change trains and buses. Its public transport system is reliable and frequent, making commuting straightforward.

The public transport system includes buses and a series of train and tram networks. The West Midlands Metro provides fast links from Birmingham and Wolverhampton. Birmingham New Street is the main train station. It provides links to places such as London, Manchester, and surrounding areas of the West Midlands.

The M40, M5 and M6 roads provide links from Birmingham to the rest of the UK. Birmingham Airport is one of the busier airports in the UK and provides flights to countries across the world.

Work and Salary

The average salary in Birmingham is around £35,992 according to Talent.com. Birmingham is a great place to be employed and there are many different job opportunities. The most popular job sectors include the business sector, financial services, education and retail.

Payscale states that the average wage in London is £41,000. While this is higher than in Birmingham, the cost of living in the West Midlands is far lower. Common jobs in London include the public sector, banking and finance.

Wages in London are higher on average compared to the rest of the UK. This is due to the London Living Wage whether workers are paid a bigger salary to offset the increased costs of living in the capital city.

Cost of Living

Living in Birmingham is cheaper than living in London, and consumer prices are 24.1% lower compared to the capital city.

Here are some cost of living examples for each city for comparison:

Cost of Living ExamplesLondonBirmingham

Public transport pass (monthly)

£160

£55.00

Basic utilities (monthly)

£309.15

£213.31

Fitness club membership (monthly)

£45.74

£26.80

Chicken fillets

£6.89

£5.42

Bottle of wine

£9.00

£7.00

Taxi starting price

£4.00

£4.50

Preschool (monthly)

£1,573.83

£1,204.21

Restaurant meal for 2 people

£70.00

£50.00

Cinema ticket (one ticket)

£12.00

£10.00

*Data taken from Numbeo statistics

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Education

Education in Birmingham and London are very similar and there are high-performing schools in both locations. Both are known for providing high-quality education. Nelson Mandela School and King Edward’s School are amongst the top-performing schools in Birmingham.

Birmingham is a great city to consider moving to as a student. The University of Birmingham is a Redbrick and Russell Group university. The other 4 universities in Birmingham are:

  • Birmingham City University
  • Aston University
  • University College Birmingham
  • Newman University

There are 18 universities in London. Some of the more prestigious institutions include King’s College London and University College London.

While there are more universities in London, the student life in Birmingham is great, and the quality of education is high.

Culture/Art

Birmingham is a city that’s particularly full of culture. It’s known as one of the most diverse cities in the UK. The 2021 Census shows that ethnic minorities make up 51.4% of Birmingham’s population.

Being such a diverse city means there is a wide range of different cultures in Birmingham. Many historical locations and architecture are based on neo-Gothic and Venetian styles.

Buildings of interest include The Old Crown which is the oldest pub in the city, Aston Hall, Victoria Law Courts and Birmingham Town Hall. There are several museums such as the Soho House Museum, Sarehole Mill Museum and Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum.

Whether you’re looking to enjoy the Birmingham Royal Ballet or walk in Cannon Hill Park, you can experience the beauty of Birmingham. Art is important in the city. The RBSA Gallery and the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery are particular places of interest.

Nightlife/Social Scene

Birmingham is a great city if you want to experience good nightlife and a social scene. While it’s a smaller city compared to London, you won’t run out of new places to experience.

There’s something to appeal to a wide variety of tastes. Broad Street is well-known as a place to visit if you’re looking for bars and clubs. Tunnel Club Birmingham is a quirky nightclub, and the Nightingale Club is a popular LGBTQIAP+ clubbing venue. There are many cocktail bars and independent pubs and bars located across the city.

The social scene in Birmingham is prevalent, and there are events for everyone. From book clubs to fitness clubs, you can find a social scene to suit your preferences. There are many places to visit with family and friends such as Flight Club, Cadbury World, and Sea Life Birmingham.

Shopping in Birmingham is particularly great. The Bull Ring & Grand Central have many shops and restaurants. Great Western Arcade, Martineau Place, and Martineau Place are also popular shopping venues.

There are many live music and event venues in Birmingham, such as the O2 Academy Birmingham, Utilita Arena, and the O2 Institute Birmingham. Smaller venues include The Mill, The Jam House and Symphony Hall.

Birmingham has many theatres including Crescent Theatre, Blue Orange Theatre, and Birmingham Hippodrome.

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Is it Worth Moving to Birmingham from London?

If you still want to experience city life but would prefer a lower cost of living, then it can be worth moving to Birmingham from London. Here are some advantages and disadvantages to consider:

Pros:

  • Lower cost of living
  • Housing and rental prices are lower than in London
  • Diverse and cultural city
  • Good transport links to the rest of the UK
  • Wide range of jobs available

Cons:

  • Public transport is not as reliable and frequent as in London
  • The weather is more unpredictable
  • The average wage in Birmingham is lower compared to other parts of the UK

Removals from London to Birmingham

Birmingham is around 118 miles away from London. As it will take around 2 hours and 40 minutes to move your belongings, you can expect to pay more for your removals compared to if you were moving locally.

The average moving cost from London to Birmingham is around £885. This figure is based on the results from our cost of moving house calculator. We took the average house cost from each area and the distance travelled to calculate the removal company costs.

A lot of people need extra removal services such as packing. Moving companies will charge extra for these services as they take up both time and resources. The average cost of these services is:

  • Packing - £250
  • Dismantling and reassembling - £125

If you’re moving from London to Birmingham, here is Compare My Move, we can assist you with this process. We can connect you with up to 6 of our removal partners that are trusted and verified providing you with a hassle-free move.

All costs listed in this article are correct at the time of writing. Costs may vary slightly and this is just an estimated number.

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Dave Sayce

Reviewed by Dave Sayce

Owner & Managing Director, Compare My Move

Dave Sayce is the owner and managing director of Compare My Move and has over 10 years of experience in the house removals industry.

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