Birmingham is becoming a Great Investment Choice
Birmingham, known as the UK’s ‘Second City’, has been undergoing a major transformation in recent years, driving significant levels of investment into the city.
The city centre itself is a vibrant hub of shops, restaurants, bars, and many other nationally recognised attractions such as the Birmingham Arena, Sealife Centre, Symphony Hall, and Birmingham Rep Theatre.
Birmingham is also home to a number of high profile organisations such as the BBC, ITV, Heart FM within the creative sector, HMRC are relocating 4,000 jobs to Birmingham City Centre, and banking firms opening head offices there – the likes of Deutsche Bank, HSBC, and Royal Bank of Scotland.
So it’s no surprise that the population of Birmingham City Centre is one of the youngest in Europe – with 45.7% of the 1.1 million population estimated to be under the age of 30. The job opportunities are in abundance, which is why many of the 65,000 students choose to stay in the city after graduating.
The Universities here have played a major role in transforming pockets of the city, with hundreds of millions of pounds spent over the last decade to provide some of the highest quality facilities of any Universities in the UK.
One of the largest areas of regeneration has been the New Street Station complex – in preparation for the HS2 line that will connect London and Birmingham in just 49 minutes – essentially making it an option for Birmingham residents to work in London.
If you also want some confidence that the ‘big boys’ are putting their money into Birmingham…PwC has recently purchased an entire building as part of a £700m development – very exciting for the regeneration of the area, but the addition of another 1,000+ jobs.
Birmingham or London?
In 2017 Birmingham was awarded the status of the most improved city in the UK to live and work. Reasons for this are largely down to the falling unemployment, and an influx of inward investment projects.
Prices of properties in Birmingham are still considered very affordable with average city centre property prices £10,000 lower than Manchester and more than £1/2m lower than the average London property.
Yields in Birmingham are averaging around 6%, compared to London where investors these days are lucky to achieve 2%.
The level of growth also exceeds the London market by a colossal margin – 6.6% annual growth in Birmingham versus London’s -0.3%. Savvy investors are seeing these opportunities and are cashing out of London and cashing in on Birmingham before it’s too late. Once HS2 is completed prices in Birmingham will undoubtedly shoot up.
Which areas to invest in?
The city centre is always the number one location – as the population is getting younger, the demand for high-quality city centre property is increasing. Young people want convenience. They want all amenities on their doorstep, they want to be close to their place of work, close to transport links etc.
Digbeth is also an up and coming area – more of a cultural hub with lots of activities and events on a regular basis, and only a short walk to the city centre. Or a 5-minute bus ride for those rainy days.
Jewellery Quarter – situated in the northwest part of the city, it’s an area full of character and class. Demand for properties here has always been high, and prices do reflect this. With over 200 listed buildings, the conservation area is home to over 100 independent retailers and only a short walk from many of Birmingham’s historic landmarks.
In summary, Birmingham appears to offer opportunities for residents wanting to embark, and progress their careers, but also for investors looking for sustainable yields that outperform many other cities, including London, and high capital growth potential, but at the same time not breaking the bank with an investment here.
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