Birmingham was named the UK’s top location for property investment, according to The Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2017 report1. Beating London, Edinburgh and Manchester for top spot, what components make Birmingham a strong option for investors?
1. Regeneration of property and investment
Birmingham’s regeneration has been underway for some time. Recent upgrades include:
- New Street Gateway, City Centre Metro and Birmingham Airport. The extensive investment has added to the city’s reputation as a location for international business.
- The Birmingham New Street station, with a £600 million upgrade completed in late 2015.
- The Curzon Investment Plan from late 2016 vows £900 million to regenerate the area surrounding HS2 Curzon Street station. Part of this project will deliver 4,000 new city centre homes.
2. City redevelopment
In January 2017, Birmingham City Council implemented the Birmingham Development Plan (BDP) 2031. With an expected population growth of 150,000 by 2031, the BDP model’s decisions on regeneration and will assist the delivery of 51,000 new homes. The Council also propose to deliver new retail and office space.
3. Business hub
Geographically, Birmingham has significant economic advantages because nine out of 10 UK businesses can be reached by road within four hours. Brum also has the largest business hub outside London, and the economy is growing at a faster rate than the UK average.
Britain’s largest bank, HSBC, is moving its UK headquarters to Birmingham from London in January 2018. The bank plans to move more than 1,000 jobs from its London offices by the end of 2017, adding to its existing 2,500 local Birmingham staff.
4. Transport links
A high-speed train service directly connecting Birmingham and London, High Speed Two Ltd (HS2), is due to open in December 2026. The express trains would run at speeds of up to 250mph and as often as 14 times per hour in every direction. The second phase of the £56bn railway will carry on to Manchester and Leeds.
Birmingham’s population is approximately 1.1 million, making it the largest in the West Midlands and the second largest in the UK. The wider Birmingham Metropolitan area is home to 3.8 million people2.
With 45.7% residents estimated to be under 30, Birmingham has the youngest population in Europe3. Lifestyle attractions include large shopping centres, leisure and dining options, a vibrant nightlife scene, dozens of museums and galleries and plentiful open spaces and countryside.
6. University Centre
Birmingham has the UK’s second largest student population, with the top 20 universities less than an hour’s drive. Birmingham is ninth in the list of top 10 most cost-effective locations to study in the UK4 and the continued growing student population generates steady tenant demand for many investors.
7. Affordability and growth
Brum’s average flat price was £140,973 compared to £502,705 in London5 and
around 17% lower than the national average. House prices in Birmingham are also rising much faster than in the capital, with prices up 7.7% in the year to April compared to 3.5% growth in London6.
8. Demand for investment property
At Investorist, we have moved our European head office from London to Birmingham, to be closer to the centre of investor demand in the UK.
“Our platform brings together buyers and sellers from across the globe, and one of the trends we’ve noticed from foreign investors in China, SE Asia, the Middle East and Russia is a growing interest in Northern Powerhouse cities such as Birmingham.”
“Affordability and growth potential are key factors for investors looking at Birmingham property. Even since the post-Brexit pound devaluation, London’s high prices have prompted investors to look elsewhere. Birmingham’s regeneration, appeal for businesses, investment in infrastructure and low entry level, makes residential property in the city highly attractive as an investment,” said Richard Eglinton, Sales Director, Europe, Investorist.
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- The Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2017: published by the Urban Land Institute and PwC
- Birmingham City Council
- Top Universities website