The Birmingham property market update
Never resting on its laurels, Birmingham is keen to build on recent regeneration success with ambitious plans to keep the city snapping at London's heels.
Did you know that Birmingham is one of the happiest cities in the UK? Data from a study by CV-Library – carried out on 2,000 people by psychologist Dr Cliff Arnall - concluded that Birmingham was the UK’s 8th happiest metropolis in which to live and work. The study looked at how happy people were with their work-like balance, how much they enjoyed their employment, and how confident they were about finding a new job if they were searching for a new role.
It is Birmingham’s rapid redevelopment and regeneration that has fueled this sense of optimism, with employment opportunities going hand in hand with a revived property market. The momentum isn’t running out of steam either. Birmingham’s Big City Plan - a project designed to revolutionise infrastructure in the residential, commercial, retail and leisure sectors – is pushing the city to new heights, with the 2022 Commonwealth Games cementing Birmingham’s status on a global stage.
It will come as no surprise that in January 2020, Zoopla identified a number of cities with the best prospects for the year ahead - using a range of metrics including housing affordability, discounts to asking price and time to sell - and Birmingham was one of them. The city took 5th spot, cited as one of the locations where continued economic growth and better affordability made for an appealing purchasing backdrop.
The city’s assets have already started having an impact on the moving market. Research by reallymoving.com released early in 2020 revealed Birmingham had the second highest volume of home movers in 2019, coming only second to London and beating Manchester and Reading to third and fourth place, respectively.
So what are buyers in Birmingham expected to pay? The latest figures from Rightmove put the average asking price of a property in Birmingham City Centre at £214,727, with sold prices 7% up on the previous year and 12% up on 2017 when the average house price was £192,288. The future also promises growth, with Knight Frank predicting that residential property prices will rise across the region by nearly 11% over the next five years, while it claims increasing demand means Birmingham will need 12,000 - 18,000 new homes.
Prices in Birmingham can vary greatly, however. A three-bedroom New York-style loft apartment in the city centre - adjacent to The Mailbox and The Cube – is being marketed for just shy of £1 million, while at the other end of the spectrum, it’s possible to buy studios and small one-bedroom apartments at c. £100,000.
Birmingham’s rental market is also performing well. The city made 16th spot in Aldermore Bank’s Buy to Let City Tracker, which details the top UK cities for a landlord’s buy-to-let investment (based on the average rent per room per month, short-term yield for a new buy-to-let purchase, average property price rises over the past 10 years, proportion of vacant properties in a city and size of the private rental market across the UK). It was a strong showing by Birmingham in a list whose top half was dominated by southern cities.
The current average rent in Birmingham, according to Home.co.uk, is £1,154 per calendar month – almost double the average rent for the whole of the West Midlands, reported to be £699 per calendar month using the latest statistics from HomeLet.