If you are looking to invest in property then look no further than Birmingham..
With the bank of England cutting interest rates to 0.25% (a record low), leaving money in the bank isn’t actually an effective investment. In order to get a solid return on your savings you will probably need to invest it elsewhere. With the economic climate so uncertain in the wake of huge political upheaval it is difficult to know how to do this.
Earlier this year Birmingham was voted The best city in the UK to invest money for the second year running. It transpires that if you are looking to invest in property then look no further than Birmingham. Whilst there have been predictions that there will be a post Brexit slow down in the property market, I personally don’t think this will affect Birmingham. The reasons for this are numerable:
Culture – Birmingham has done a lot to change its image as a grey industrial city. It started with the building of the iconic Bullring but the city now also includes the new library and most notably the transformation of New St Station into Grand Central. Birmingham also boasts the Hippodrome (The busiest theatre in the UK) and the Birmingham Symphony Hall which attracts some of the most recognised composers in the world. Birmingham has more Michelin starred restaurants than any other UK city outside London, with Purnells, Simpsons, Turners, Adam’s, & Carters flying the flag for the city’s fine dining. All this is attracting new buyers to settle in Birmingham.
Demographic – Birmingham is the youngest city in Europe – with 50% of the population aged under 30 driving both the rental and first time buyer market upwards.
Location – Birmingham is the biggest city by far in the Midlands. As such, for anyone not wanting to pay the extortionate living costs of London, Birmingham is seen as the “Big City”. Just by taking our own office as an example you will find very few “born and bred” brummies. Almost all come from one of the surrounding counties: Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire and even the East Mids. As a result of this “hub” location the queue to move to Birmingham is getting bigger which means the demand is higher.
London too expensive – The projected opening of HS2, with a predicted travel time of less than 1 hour (similar time to that of some zones on the tube), will inevitably attract further business to the area whilst opening up the city to London commuters. Whilst some might think Birmingham’s big boom will only arrive with the HS2, Knight Frank’s head of Birmingham commercial property, Ashley Hudson, thinks it may have already started. He explains that last year alone 6,016 people moved from London to Birmingham, more than to any other UK city. This again is increasing the demand on the property market.
Future Business – Commuters aren’t the only people to identify the benefit of setting up a base outside of London. Companies too are recognising the cost saving potential of a move away from London. Hogan Lovells (of the magic circle) set up an office in Birmingham in 2015 as it sought to reduce its cost base in London. HSBC are moving their retail banking back office function to Birmingham next year which is forecast to bring 1200 jobs to the city. In 2019 the HMRC is planning on opening a regional hub in Birmingham which is predicted to create a further 3000 job opportunities. These are just the high profile examples but are useful in symbolising a wider migration that is happening across the UK. The people who will be filling these additional jobs will be looking for somewhere local to live, once again creating high demand for property.
All of these factors contribute to a very vibrant property market. Whilst there are a lot of developments awaiting planning permission or are already being built the demand is still likely to out weigh the supply resulting in a sellers market and rising house prices. All in all, if you are looking to invest money then investing in Property in Birmingham is a good bet.