PHILIP’S BLOG 13/11/2015

London, MJ Direct, Birmingham’s City Centre flats The recent property investment analysis by accountants PWC & The Urban Land Institute placed Birmingham 6th place in the Emerging Trends in European Real Estate. This was ahead of only two other UK Cities in the top twenty. Our own research reflects that investors are already acknowledging this opportunity ,as both domestic & international investors widen their horizon beyond the competitive market of the South East, an area increasingly with high prices & low yields. The combination of geographical traits, such as 90% of the UK being within four hour’s drive, 4.3m working people within one hours drive plus being the youngest City in Europe, with 40% of the population being under the age of 25 have made Business Birmingham, the investment promotion agency’s life easier. Even they this year have received an award as being given the status of the leading City promotion agency in Europe.

Of other studies in recent weeks, one flagged ‘The world’s most competitive Cities’ put Birmingham as the highest performing metropolitan area in Western Europe, ranking first in the areas of Aerospace, Machinery, Metals & Food + Beverage. The City also appeared it seems in the top three in more sectors than any other UK metropolitan area. Indeed research from earlier in the year by Start Up Britain branded Birmingham as the most entrepreneurial City outside of the Capital and this enthusiasm is undoubtedly attracting new businesses in plus encouraging existing businesses to stay & expand. The combination of larger infrastructure investments now underway from the Airport extension ,which might push numbers to over nine million passengers per year, to the £600m New Street Station investment alongside the Paradise Circus redevelopment & the City Tram network notwithstanding the looking forwards to the HS2 opening in 2026 have undoubted helped Birmingham become The Destination of The Future ,recently named by the FDI Association.

Whilst currently Birmingham is only 43rd in the list of The Worlds Competitive Cities I can see Birmingham moving rapidly up the list and indeed gaining the lion’s share of investment outside of London, notwithstanding all the talk of the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ through 2016. There is just too much on our doorstep for investors to be encouraged elsewhere!