The bling’s the thing in Birm­ing­ham

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - New Homes -

“We’ve got buy­ers and in­vestors com­ing from all di­rec­tions,” says Phil Car­lin, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Seven Cap­i­tal, Birm­ing­ham’s largest (and home­grown) de­vel­op­ment firm, which is plan­ning to de­liver 4,500 new homes in the city. “Some Lon­don-based in­vestors are buy­ing off-plan ahead of a re­lo­ca­tion and oth­ers are buy­ing to get their foot on the prop­erty lad­der. Some are in­vest­ing for their chil­dren who might be com­ing to study here.” The av­er­age price is £155,400, com­pared to £494,300 in Lon­don, ac­cord­ing to Home­track, mak­ing it con­sid­er­ably more af­ford­able than the cap­i­tal. It of­fers rental yields of 5.03 per cent, ac­cord­ing to LendIn­vest.

Ma­jor house­builders have spot­ted the op­por­tu­nity, with Berke­ley open­ing a di­vi­sion in Birm­ing­ham ear­lier this year – its first ven­ture out­side of south-east Eng­land in more than a decade – with Gal­liard fol­low­ing suit. “Birm­ing­ham was hit very hard dur­ing the down­turn in 2007 and 2008 but the sub­stan­tial in­fra­struc­ture im­prove­ments, in­clud­ing the £750mil­lion de­vel­op­ment of New Street sta­tion, the ar­rival of HS2, the new li­brary and the Metro tram ex­ten­sions have been fun­da­men­tal in its re­nais­sance,” says Mark Evans of Knight Frank. “There’s a fo­cus now on the city which is al­most hard to be­lieve.”

But there’s more to Birm­ing­ham than just im­pres­sive in­fra­struc­ture. Buy­ers are at­tracted to its lively arts scene, in­clud­ing the eclec­tic Think­tank science mu­seum and the City of Birm­ing­ham Sym­phony Or­ches­tra, and its grow­ing rep­u­ta­tion for high-qual­ity food; the city has a hand­ful of Miche­lin­starred restau­rants. “That’s an el­e­ment that has re­ally evolved over the past few years,” says John Grif­fiths of Sav­ills. “Back in the Seven­ties and Eight­ies, the only thing to eat in Birm­ing­ham was low-grade ho­tel qual­ity or fast food. Now there are street food move­ments emerg­ing in all dis­tricts.”

Of Birm­ing­ham’s many dis­tricts, the Jew­ellery Quar­ter – just 10 min­utes’ walk south east from New Street sta­tion – ranks top in terms of con­tem­po­rary ca­chet and charm. Nick­named the “Shored­itch of Birm­ing­ham”, the area is the cre­ative cra­dle of the city; it is es­ti­mated that 40 per cent of Bri­tish jew­ellery is made in its 100-plus work­shops, yet it has a pop­u­la­tion of just 3,000. The district, which boasts more than 200 listed build­ings and the post­card-pretty St Paul’s Square, has been the fo­cus of bou­tique de­vel­op­ers and high-end ware­house con­ver­sions. By Birm­ing­ham stan­dards, it’s not cheap, with top-end prices av­er­ag­ing £100 per sq ft more than other parts of the city cen­tre. A con­verted build­ing with seven homes on St Paul’s Square, with prices start­ing from £495,000 for a one-bed­room apart­ment with a study,

New homes at Fabrick Square, main and be­low, sold out off-plan

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.