The Birmingham Boom – why our city was ranked 5th most attractive in Europe

Birmingham is going through an exciting change. Investment in the second city shows no sign of slowing down, especially after Birmingham was awarded the 2022 Commonwealth Games and the second devolution deal, all helping to secure a new stream of funding for transport and infrastructure and boosting local productivity and growth.

With the emergence of HS2, regeneration of Paradise Forum and Smithfield, as well as plans to extend the Midland Metro, introduce a Sprint Bus, launch the Nextbike cycle scheme and make the Whim travel app available to people in Birmingham, this renaissance seems to be stepping up a gear and has made Birmingham a more attractive city to businesses and home-buyers alike, culminating in Birmingham being ranked the most attractive mid-sized city in Europe, according to the latest Cities of Influence report by global real estate advisor Colliers. In addition to this, the city was voted the fifth most attractive city overall, out of 50 cities across Europe

Business Appeal

Recently, it was announced that office take up in the city surpassed the one million sq. ft. barrier in the final quarter of 2017, with take up reaching 354,530 sq. ft. across 49 deals, bringing the total for 2017 to 1,005,072 sq. ft., as reported by the Birmingham Office Market Forum. Evidently, more and more businesses can see the value in expanding or opening an office in Birmingham. But, with so much redevelopment happening in and around the city’s core, what sets Birmingham apart from the likes of London or Manchester, besides the aforementioned transport developments?

In Colliers International’s Cities of Influence report, Birmingham scored most favourably in the category for ‘Fresh Talent’. Thanks to its top tier universities, Birmingham’s talent pool saw the city placed second only to London, and first when looking at mid-sized cities alone. Other key socio-economic factors in which Birmingham impressed included workforce catchment, future employment capacity, and employer costs, as reported by Commercial News Media. The report reviews and ranks cities based on their ‘occupier attractiveness, availability of talent, and quality of life factors’, alongside economic output and productivity. Understandably, London was ranked top as the most attractive city in Europe for a second year running, with Paris, Madrid, Moscow and Birmingham making up the rest of the top five.

While it is evident why businesses are moving their offices to the second city, what is it about Birmingham that occupiers and homebuyers find attractive, beside the increase in job opportunities?

Best places to Buy in Birmingham

A recent campaign looked into the best places to buy in Birmingham. With excellent connectivity, educational establishments and world-class leisure, retail and entertainment available, Birmingham has a lot to offer. What’s more advantageous is that the entertainment centers of Birmingham are dotted around the city and not all crowded into the city. Depending on your needs, different areas offer different things.

As part of the report, a poll was launched that asked the people of the city to vote for their favourite place to live. The Jewellery Quarter, Harborne, Moseley, Brindleyplace and Digbeth were all included in the list, with Moseley, Harborne and Solihull topping the list so far. Each of these communities have their own bubbling and lively centres that have a number of independent eateries, entertainment venues and shops at their core.

Edgbaston is perfect for those who are passionate about sports. This picturesque suburb plays host to the world-renowned Edgbaston Cricket Ground, as well as Edgbaston Golf Club and the Priory Club. Many popular restaurants are also here, including Simpsons, The Highfield, The Physician and The Edgbaston. Meanwhile, Harborne is the home of eclectic charity shops, top-class jewellers and a host of eateries, one of which carries a Michelin star. If that’s not enough, the Jewellery Quarter is home to over 500 jewellery businesses, over 200 listed buildings and some of Birmingham’s best nightlife spots. Lastly, Kings Heath and Moseley are the unofficial home for music lovers in Birmingham, thanks to its strong creative identity. With a wide choice of trendy pubs and live music venues, Moseley also plays host to several music festivals each Summer including the popular Moseley Folk Festival. These are just a few of the many areas of Birmingham that have something a little different to offer from the city center for residents and visitors.

With all of this in mind, it is no wonder that we were ranked so highly in Colliers International’s Cities of Influence report. The team at James Laurence love Birmingham for so many reasons, including many of the above, and with so many of our properties in the above mentioned hotspots, we love helping house-hunters find their next home in one of these spirited neighbourhoods.

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