Property Investment Is Relaunching Birmingham's Economy

Birmingham is fast becoming the top choice for property investment, thanks to large scale development projects and improvements in infrastructure.

by Jonathan Stephens

Investment and Development mean Birmingham's Big City Plan is Becoming a Reality

Recent headlines seem to have nothing but bad news when it comes to the UK economy. The pound has hit all-time lows, bonds are generating negligible returns and according to some, even the property market is starting to feel the Brexit pinch.

Take a look at the UK's second city, however, and you might be tempted to ask “What recession?” The city is thriving like never before, and Birmingham property investment is going from strength to strength.

The Big City Plan

The remarkable prosperity and growth that Birmingham has seen while other areas have struggled in recession can, to a large extent, be traced back to its Big City Plan. Launched in February 2008 and refined in two years later, this ambitious 20-year project set out to increase the size of the city core by 25%.

The plan provided a strategy for creating 5,000 new homes and 50,000 new jobs. It also developed a blueprint to revitalise the city's transport infrastructure, including the £600 million redevelopment of New Street Station, which was completed in September 2015. This is, of course, closely tied in to the proposed H2S rail link, which will provide faster and more reliable services to and from London.

While the Plan is still very much a work in progress, the city is already reaping the rewards. HSBC and John Lewis are just two of the major high street names that have invested heavily, bringing increased employment and prosperity.

Unique identity

While links to London are important, Birmingham is more than a mere “overspill” from the capital city. A major component of the Big Plan is to recognise and build upon Birmingham's proud history as being home to some of the most innovative and pioneering industries.

Thus, parts of the Plan include an advanced manufacturing hub and cutting edge academic facilities such as the Innovation Birmingham Campus and the BioHub Life Sciences Centre.

Adding to the city's unique identity is the enormous Bullring shopping centre. The latest £500 million incarnation makes it one of the largest and most popular shopping venues in the country, and it is home to the largest Debenhams department store outside London. Like so much in the city, the centre manages to achieve 21st Century modernity while acknowledging its proud history that goes back almost 1000 years.

Residential development

Over the past ten years, Birmingham's population has seen growth of around 10% to over 1.1 million and this trend is certain to continue over the coming years. To accommodate these new residents, the city has identified a need for some 89,000 new homes, more than 50,000 of which will be in new developments in easy reach of the city centre.

As further evidence that this is a city going places, Land Registry figures state that Birmingham has been the busiest local authority in the country in terms of applications for first registrations, leases, transfers of part, dealings, official copies and property searches every month in 2016.

A growing population, a thriving economy and a multi-billion pound investment programme spell unmissable opportunities for investors.