The Chancellor is clearly persuading some people regarding the West Midlands & particularly his vision of Birmingham as a vital component in the UK as a powerhouse of future GDP growth. The 83,300 new firms created in the Midlands through the last Parliament has encouraged further growth to be forecast here and the empowering the leading Cities idea is undoubtedly more than just a sound bite. Whilst lots of talk has been on the Northern Powerhouse of Manchester, Leeds & Liverpool the reality plus convenience of Birmingham has undoubtedly been increasingly seen by investors, both from the South East & abroad. Birmingham is now in the process of making a significant step forward and local graduates with other professionals alike are putting down roots here to live & work.
Yesterday a man walked into our Jewellery Quarter office looking for almost immediate accommodation to rent. When questioned he advised that he was a demolition contractor with a sixty three week contract to take away a significant amount of the City Core prior to new grade A offices being built. It is these small signs that make me think Birmingham in 2017 & onwards is going to start looking plus feeling like a very different City. Another person a Notting Hill based leading financial journalist looking to invest with significant partners highlighted that the opportunity here in Birmingham was greater than many of us locally anticipate. She said the 250,000ft office requirement now looking for a home here from the South East from another major PLC following on from Deutsche Bank & HSBC relocations was the probably tip of something larger.
But there is a lag. If you need fantastic offices today OR brand new City Centre housing to move into this autumn there is very little available. There is some on the way but frustratingly for buyers & tenants alike it today is tight with the good accommodation going very quickly . Prices are rising in both sectors ,and this summer will be a squeeze for many of those relocating into the City or Post grads staying on & looking for convenient accommodation. At the same time there are opportunities for those developing for a maturing City audience. Interesting larger flats & houses is one sector, convenient well planned & located apartments for let in blocks offering more than just a grumpy concierge as a service is another.
Interesting times indeed.