Birmingham in demand
Birmingham is a leading European business destination at the centre of a £90bn regional economy. The City has access to a working population of 4.3 million people, provides a wealth of opportunities for companies looking to expand or invest and offers a high quality of life.
A cosmopolitan and vibrant modern city with a cost of living 60% lower than London and a diverse housing offer to suit all tastes and budgets. The City is one of Britain’s greenest with more than one fifth of its area consisting of parks, nature reserves, allotments, golf courses and playing fields – many of these are linked by rivers, watercourses and canals.
There are many universities and three University Colleges within one hour’s drive of Birmingham, producing over 97,000 graduates each year. This makes the city-region the second largest student area in the UK.
Birmingham itself has five universities; Aston University, Birmingham City University, Birmingham University, University College Birmingham and Newman University. Aston University and Birmingham University achieve higher than the UK average for 2:1 or 1st class degrees and Aston has the highest employability scoring of all regional UK cities – 82% get jobs within six months of graduation. The region includes three Russell Group Universities, namely, Birmingham University, University of Warwick and University of Nottingham.
Birmingham is perfectly placed for business – with exceptional connections to local, national and global audiences. It is at the heart of the UK’s road network and boasts its own international airport with direct flights to over 100 destinations including in Europe, North America and Asia. Its role as an economic hub is reflected in its status as one of the UK’s largest financial centres outside London and attraction as a location for business and professional services with a significant number of regional and national HQs. The diversity of the centre’s economic role is supported by its reputation as a hub for creative industries and as the UK’s fastest growing place for digital media ventures.
A recent report by Savills highlights the positive impact of the proposed high-speed rail link (HS2) with London cutting the journey time to 45 minutes. According to the report, the initial impact of HS2 will be on Birmingham. The city is already changing fast and undergoing tremendous regeneration and development. Large employers are expanding and, in turn, not only generating more jobs but also a bigger number of higher skilled positions. These changes have not gone unnoticed by investors, many of which are looking beyond London for new opportunities.
The coming of HS2 enables the city to build on the momentum. Increased connectivity between places where synergies exist increases the potential for trade. Faster train journeys and increased capacity also have the potential to prompt the reorganisation of economic activity between places with companies moving or expanding to more efficient locations.
Savills estimates that Birmingham needs 89,000 new homes between 2011 and 2031, the equivalent of 4,450 a year. But only 1,810 homes were added to the mix in the year to March 2015, leaving a shortfall of 2,640 homes.
If supply remains restricted, the increased demand for homes will push up house prices. Over time, the gradual influx of wealth both in the shape of commuters’ salaries and a greater number of better paid corporate employees in Birmingham means that the top end of Solihull and Birmingham are likely to outperform the local market.
UK’s most investable city
- UK’s 2nd City
- Regional population of 4.3 million people of working age
- One of the largest Chinese population outside of the capital
- Highest quality of life for 3 years running
- Cost of living and average property costs are 50% lower than London
- More people relocated from London to Birmingham than any other city
- 50% of the UK’s population live within 2-hour travel time, 90% within 4 hours
- HS2 will reduce the travel time from London to Birmingham to 45 minutes
- HS2 will provide Birmingham with access to 45 million people within 1-hour travel time
- Birmingham Airport attracted 30 new routes in 2014, including China
- UK’s 2nd largest student city
- 5 universities and over 70,000 students with higher education
Positioned for Growth
- Ranked as the No.1 investable city in the UK, overtaking London and Manchester
- Awarded Foreign Direct Investment destination of the future
- Attracted more foreign direct investment than any other city outside of the capital
- Only city in the UK with a net export surplus with China
- Start-up hub with more companies established in 2015 than any other regional city
- Record 34 million visitors in 2015 (up 32% from previous year)
- One of the greenest cities in the UK
- More kilometres of canals than Venice
ALFA Investors has several developments in Birmingham, foremost of which is The Franklin, 79 chic apartments and penthouses in the leafy suburb of Bournville. An award-winning renovation of the former Cadburys headquarters, such is the demand for property in Birmingham, only seven units are left for sale from £141,750.
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