Reading time: 3 Minutes
Birmingham and the surrounding area has been a popular target for investors for some time, and we’re excited to be part of such a buoyant market. Our excellent transport links, diverse, vibrant community, and burgeoning economy are just some of the reasons Birmingham is such an attractive place to invest. It’s also home to the largest private rental sector in the country outside London and, according to recent property reports, prices rose faster in Birmingham over the past year than anywhere else across the UK.
While prices have flattened briefly in 2021, it looks as though that upward trend is set to continue, with research indicating that Birmingham will continue to be at the forefront of property price and rental growth over the next few years. However, even though property prices have increased by just over 13% over the past twelve months, Birmingham still remains an affordable place to buy, with the average price for a home, £265K, still lower than the average property price across England and Wales of £339K. The upcoming Commonwealth Games has also boosted the market, with the proposed re-generation of the northwest of the city set to deliver 5,000 new homes over the next few years, including the athletes village. Infrastructure in the area will also be improved, making it a good prospect when it comes to investment.
The rental market is on the rise, too. Birmingham, as the country’s second-largest business hub, attracts graduates and young professionals from across the country, many of whom are yet to get on the property ladder. Combine that with the fact that 60% of the population are under 35, and you have a burgeoning rental market. Rentals rose by 3% in the last year alone, and that’s a trend that’s set to continue as demand outstrips supply, making Birmingham an excellent prospect for investors.
However, despite the higher than average price rise across Birmingham overall, it is definitely a bit of a postcode lottery, with some areas seeing growth while others have fallen back. For example, properties in the Brown’s Green, Handsworth Wood, and Birchfield areas have seen an astonishing 35% price rise over the last year or so while, at the other end of the spectrum, Marston Green, Kingshurst, Bacon’s End, Fordbridge, Chelmsley Wood and Solihull have all seen prices drop, on average, by 10%.
There are other factors at play as well, of course. The pandemic has had an effect on the economy worldwide, yet the UK housing market has been surprisingly resilient. The stamp duty holiday helped many buyers get into their first properties, as have low interest rates. And, with so many of us stuck at home, it’s given us the chance to consider what it is we really want when it comes to living accommodation, leading to the so-called ‘Covid bounce’. All this adds up to a property market that continues to rise across the UK, and Birmingham is at the forefront.
So, what does that mean for you as a buyer? Even though Birmingham City Council is working to address the current shortage of housing stock through construction, redevelopment and private sale opportunities, more people want to buy homes than are currently available, driving prices higher and meaning that it really is a seller’s market. That’s great news if you already own a home and are looking to move on (although remember, you will be buying back into the same market, so any gains made will more than likely be used when purchasing your next property). But if you’re still looking to get your foot on the housing ladder, it definitely makes it more difficult to do so, as price surges outpace savings. However, first time buyers can have an advantage in a fast-moving market, especially if they have their financing in place, as they have no chain.
Overall, we think that Birmingham is a fantastic place to buy a property, whether to live in or as an investment. Despite the growth of the past five years, it’s still one of the more affordable markets in the UK. However, forecasts indicate that prices will continue to rise so, if you are looking to invest, the time really is now. Remember, the real estate market is like the ocean, always changing. The trick is to know how to ride the waves. So do your research, get your finances in order, and speak to your agent about the best areas in which to buy. With our local knowledge, we’re well placed to help you make a wise decision when it comes to making one of the biggest investments of your life.