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Birmingham Booms Beyond 2022

Two months ago, Birmingham basked in the global spotlight of the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The largest multi-sport event to be held in England in 10 years, it was beamed live to 134 countries. More than 5 million people arrived into the city centre during the 2-week period—a 200% increase on the same period in 2021, and a massive benefit to the local economy. 

The Games happened at a good time: normalcy was returning post-Covid as regeneration schemes progressed through the city and more international employers relocated to Birmingham.

Buoyed by positive momentum, the City of A Thousand Trades is experiencing growing tenant demand and promising growth forecasts ahead. Read on to learn more about the outlook for Birmingham over the next few years. 


CONTENTS
Top 5 Reasons Why Birmingham Property is Booming 
#1 Businesses Look Beyond London to Birmingham
#2 One of UK’s Fastest Cities to Recover from Brexit & Covid Uncertainties
#3
Big City Regeneration Drives Population and Economic Growth
#4 Live in Birmingham, Work in London
#5
Growing Real Estate Sector

Indeed, the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games had laid the foundation for a wider economic recovery from the pandemic, with public transport infrastructure improvements, highway redevelopments and the creation of 40,000 jobs and skills opportunities for the residents of West Midlands. 

That said, the outlook for Birmingham was already moving in a positive direction ahead of the Games, according to several studies. Data analysing Birmingham’s economic landscape before, during, after and beyond the pandemic, show promising signs for recovery in this city-region. 

Goldman Sachs, following in the footsteps of corporate bigwigs like Accenture, HSBC and Deutsche Bank, recently confirmed a 10-year lease agreement for a 100,000 sqft office space comprising 5 storeys at Birmingham’s One Centenary Way. One Centenary Way is being developed under phase two of the £700m Paradise Birmingham project. Image credit: Paradise Birmingham
Goldman Sachs, following in the footsteps of corporate bigwigs like Accenture, HSBC and Deutsche Bank, recently confirmed a 10-year lease agreement for a 100,000 sqft office space at Birmingham’s One Centenary Way. One Centenary Way is being developed under phase two of the £700m Paradise Birmingham project. Image credit: Paradise Birmingham

#1 Businesses Look Beyond London to Birmingham

Despite significant drop in output, productivity and employment caused by the pandemic, Birmingham remains an attractive place for high-profile business moves and expansions. Large firms are looking increasingly to skilled work forces and cheaper costs in UK cities beyond London. 

Goldman Sachs recently confirmed a 10-year lease agreement for a 100,000 sqft office space at Birmingham’s One Centenary Way. The new digs, which takes up 5 storeys and can accommodate more than 1000 employees in the future, signifies a substantial commitment to Birmingham by the bank. Goldman joins the ranks of corporate bigwigs like Accenture, Deutsche Bank and HSBC Holdings Plc who have set up bases in the city. 

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#2 Birmingham: One of UK’s Fastest Cities to Recover from Brexit & Covid Uncertainties

And why not? Birmingham ranked 7 out of the UK’s 10 best-performing cities in economic output by Q4 2021, and was forecast to be the one of the UK’s 10 fastest cities to recover from Brexit and pandemic lockdown restrictions and uncertainties. Ranked 3rd highest city for foreign direct investment (FDI) outside London, and the West Midlands’ top location for FDI projects in EY’s 2021 UK Attractiveness Survey (in spite of Covid), Birmingham is predicted to retain its position in the country’s top 10 economic and employment growth league tables with an economic growth of £1bn, and 24,000 jobs by the end of 2023.

#3 Birmingham Big City Regeneration Drives Population and Economic Growth 

Massive regeneration works under the Big City Plan have been taking place across the city over the last 10 years, including the HS2, Birmingham Metro Extension, Smithfield and Birmingham Paradise. These urban renewal projects will be a shot in the arm for Brum’s economy, creating thousands of new jobs and drawing more people into the city.  

The Metro extension in the Westside and Eastside will bridge connectivity between the wider Metro network and the planned HS2 Curzon Street terminus, unlock new developments and increase housing values; while Smithfield and Birmingham Paradise will see an improvement in public squares and commercial real estate. 

The most anticipated big regeneration project, however, is the HS2. Birmingham and the surrounding area will benefit from the Birmingham Curzon Street and the Birmingham Interchange stations, as the first trains are expected to be run between London-Birmingham by 2026. Like the Crossrail in London, the HS2 is expected to have an effect on Brum’s property prices.

The HS2, once completed, slashes the London-Brum commute to only 49 minutes. With its relatively affordable house prices, Birmingham will become accessible for a whole new work market, increasing the potential for a higher tenant base, while improvements around the city will support increased demand for housing. Source: Fusion People
The HS2, once completed, slashes the London-Brum commute to only 49 minutes. With its relatively affordable house prices, Birmingham will become accessible for a whole new work market, increasing the potential for a higher tenant base, while improvements around the city will support increased demand for housing. Source: Fusion People


#4 Live in Birmingham, Work in London 

Birmingham is one of the largest legal and financial services centres outside London. Its strategically advantageous position in the country means 90% of the population can reach Birmingham in under 4 hours. With HS2, the journey between Birmingham and London will take only 49 minutesvery similar to the typical London journey to work of 45 minutes! This makes Birmingham an attractive commuter town for London workers seeking more affordable, spacious housing far from the madding crowd of the capital (60% cheaper than London!), thus increasing the population and demand for housing. 

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#5 Growing Real Estate Sector

House prices have been rising here, too. Birmingham’s house prices rose 28% between 2017 and 2022, higher than growth across the UK in the same period. And, the latest figures from Land Registry shows Birmingham’s house prices had increased 8.3% between April 2021 and 2022 alone! Birmingham’s rents also grew 5% in 2021 and is expected to increase in the coming years as well. Birmingham is the city that JLL expects to see the highest house price growth in the UK over the next five years. The affordability of house prices means better yield as prices go up. 

With ongoing regeneration and HS2 poised to drive demand for housing, Birmingham is the city that JLL expects to see the highest house price growth in the UK over the next 5 years. Source: JLL, Oxford Economics
With ongoing regeneration and HS2 poised to drive demand for housing, Birmingham is the city that JLL expects to see the highest house price growth in the UK over the next 5 years. Source: JLL, Oxford Economics

Conclusion

The years of dramatic loss in Birmingham are over. Today, Birmingham is the UK’s largest multicultural regional city at the centre of Britain’s new railway revolution, and home to a huge financial and professional services and manufacturing and automotive sectors in the country. It is the third most visited local authority in England based on a three-year average, with the highest proportion of business-driven visitors. 

Good work has taken place here in the past decade as part of the Big City Plan, supporting economic growth and improving public perception. Brum’s tale is still being written and this is a city to watch.

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By Vivienne Pal
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