Much of the momentum is due to extensive regeneration work over the last decade, including the redevelopment of the central shopping area known as the Bullring. This has boosted shopping space and secured premium retailers such as Selfridges, the luxury department store.
Major infrastructure projects are another important element of the city’s transformation. Britain’s high-speed railway project, HS2, will bring the city within 50 minutes of London. The airport is adding another runway to expand its long-haul network. Such is the buzz that Birmingham was voted one of the world’s top 10 cities in a recent poll carried out by the guidebook publisher Rough Guide 6.
The average sale price in the city has just eclipsed the 2007 peak of £167,6077. One local hotspot is the Jewellery Quarter, the former jewellery-making area that’s being regenerated close to the city centre.
Recent price rises in the area have easily outpaced the city average of 4.5% over the past year8. Philip Jackson, director of the local Maguire Jackson estate agency, has described the district as “a classic city fringe village” similar to Clerkenwell in London. A high-end two-bedroom apartment in the area is on the market for around £270,0009; a penthouse apartment is going for £355,00010.
The outlook is encouraging. “Birmingham’s mix of regeneration, re-development and job creation, as well as the relatively lower entry price for property, means that its draw to homebuyers and investors will likely continue to grow in the coming years,” says Grainne Gilmore, Head of UK Residential Research at Knight Frank.