As the second largest city in the UK, Birmingham has adapted rapidly to the country’s recovery from the financial crisis. Last year saw the city’s annual economic output grow to a staggering £16.8bn, a monumental amount when compared to Estonia’s £16.1bn and Iceland’s £9.8bn. Businesses and jobs across the region have been enjoying post-recession success and have subsequently contributed greatly to the growth of the city.
And it seems like the population of Birmingham is set to continue growing, with an increase of 150,000 expected by 2031. According to the Birmingham Housing Prospectus, 100,000 more jobs will have been created within the city by this time and in order to meet the housing demand, Birmingham City Council is targeting £9bn of investment from property developers to try and ensure 80,000 new homes are built across the region. House prices are also expected to blossom over the next 4 years, rising by 17 percent, as public demand outweighs the supply. With these developments, the city centre will expand a further 25 percent, to cover 800 hectares.
With the average house price in the area currently standing at £200,000 – notably lower than the national average – Birmingham is becoming more and more attractive to people looking to invest in property. Last year saw approximately 5,500 Londoners in their thirties exit the capital city in favour of Birmingham and the recent Birmingham city centre ownership study report shows that 28.6 percent of commercial and retail stock is owned by foreign investors. The report, published last week reported that £670m were invested in the office and retail markets of the city in 2014.
Ian Stringer, regional senior director at GVA said, “Throughout 2014, we saw a strong demand for space in the city centre, primarily from UK property institutions and developers and US and German funds.” Stringer went on to say that the trend of investors from both the UK and overseas is expected to continue, with companies looking to relocate from the largely competitive and costly South East region.