Birmingham regularly fights for the title of Britain’s second city against fierce rival, Manchester. In its favour, Birmingham is centrally located, and has fast and frequent transport links to both the North and the South.
Over the last ten years, it has undergone an intense period of regeneration and gentrification with huge investment in the canal area of the city centre, and through major shopping infrastructure like the Bullring, John Lewis and Selfridges – all within spitting distance of the train station.
Birmingham has also just found itself listed as the third best place to work in the country according to a recent report from The Guardian. The city has more canals and waterways than Venice and a seriously good selection of restaurants and curry houses. As well as all this, Birmingham has some well-developed cultural and creative spaces such as the jewellery quarter and the area around the Custard Factory. It really is a city on the rise.
Birmingham comes in at an impressive second place on the Barclays buy-to-let hotspot survey. With average rents in the city coming in at £766 compared to a whopping £1,900 in London, Birmingham has incredible potential for fast moving investors – especially after the HS2 train line construction gets underway in 2017.
So where should you look to invest?
Stirchley is an area on the up. Situated on the border of the more expensive, Bournville, it benefits from a thriving and engaged community hugely passionate about the area. It has a community market and even its own festival ‘Love Stirchley’ – a modern incarnation of the original Stirchley Carnival. This makes it a great area to invest in during this early phase of gentrification. It also has a higher than average proportion of people living in rented accommodation so it really is a prime spot for the canny investor.
Selly Oak is the best option for those looking to rent to the city’s healthy student population. There are a range of housing options including luxury apartments and larger multiple occupancy homes all ready to house the energetic student body attending the nearby university. Undergrads are more likely to choose Selly Oak, post-grads and med students on the other hand, tend toward the quieter bordering are of Harborne which is also worth a look for investors.
Kings Heath also borders the much-coveted Bournville area. Filled with family homes, parks and decent schools, the area is definitely more suited to investors looking for a long-term investment, and to rent to families from a higher income bracket. Kings Heath also has the sweetly named Brum Yum Yum street food fair and a farmer’s market too.
Birmingham might well have one of the more ‘interesting’ regional accents but don’t be swayed away from this buzzing city. Famous sons of the city include Ozzy Osborne and Black Sabbath, and the Cadburys chocolate company so make the smart move and head on over to the Black Country for an amazing selection of investment opportunities.