Birmingham city centre seeing boom in build-to-rent sector

In Birmingham, 2,000 purpose-built privately rented properties are currently under construction to keep up with the growing demand, especially from students and young professionals.

Birmingham is a growing city with a thriving rental market. An article by The Times analysed the build-to-rent market in Birmingham and why it’s a flourishing sector. With plentiful work opportunities, a population of young people, and appealing upgrades to the transport system, the powerhouse of the Midlands boasts a plethora of investment opportunities in the build-to-rent market.

As build-to-rent is a relatively new sector to the UK property market, there’s room for much more growth and investment. Construction on build-to-rent schemes has increased by 40% in the last year, according to the British Property Federation, and it’s a sector that’s likely to continue growing as the dynamics of the housing market continue to change.

Growing young population

With nearly 40% of Birmingham’s population under the age of 25, the build-to-rent properties coming to the city are predominately aimed at those aged between 18 and 35. Many of the purpose-built flats being built in the city centre offer amenities appealing to young professionals, such as gyms, communal areas, and concierge services. These new-builds are ideal for those who prioritise a higher standard of accommodation.

Since Birmingham is one of the youngest cities in Europe, the rental market continues to boom. The city is home to four universities with good retention rates. According to a study by Centre for Cities, 49% of graduates choose to stay in Birmingham after they’ve graduated. Since the city has a range of employment opportunities, it’s easy to see why many students are staying even after they receive their degree.

An entrepreneurial city

As the UK’s second most entrepreneurial city, Birmingham saw 18,590 start-ups created in 2018. That’s a whopping 41% increase since 2017. Large employers in a variety of sectors are also relocating to Birmingham. The city is home to Deloitte, HMRC, PwC, and HSBC. Located a 20-minute walk from Birmingham New Street station, Brindleyplace has become a financial services hub. The Jewellery Quarter, which is situated in the north western part of the city centre, is home to the largest concentration of businesses involved in jewellery trade within Europe.

Employment prospects are expected to continue to improve. The economic and employment boom in Birmingham has also positively impacted the region’s property market. A recent study found there’s a clear link between cities with strong employment growth and house price rises. In Birmingham, there’s been a 12% rise in employment levels and a 23% increase in house prices over the past three years.

Transport upgrades

Transport upgrades are expected to bring even more growth to the city. Birmingham New Street station was previously voted the worst rail station in the UK, but with a five-year, £1bn project, it has been transformed into not only a transport mecca but a shopping mecca as well. There’s also a planned tram extension on Broad Street and the opening of the HS2 station on Curzon Street still to come, which will drive more investment in Birmingham’s city centre.

With growth expected in a variety of areas, Birmingham is set for a thriving future, especially in the build-to-rent sector. According to Knight Frank’s investor survey, Birmingham is forecast to outperform all other UK cities in the next five years, making it an ideal place to invest in.

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