- City unveils biggest ever plan to cater for unprecedented housing demand
- Triggered by rapid growth over past decade – businesses and people flocking to Birmingham in record numbers
- Underpinned by unprecedented spending on infrastructure and transport links
- Setting out to win £9 billion of investment from developers to meet housing target
Birmingham today (12th March) unveils its biggest ever housing plan, which is set to help deliver the homes to meet its housing needs across the city.
Birmingham’s population will increase by 150,000 by 2031, with 100,000 new jobs to be created over the same period.
For the first time, the city has listed all housing development sites in one document, dubbed the Birmingham Housing Prospectus. By launching the Prospectus at international property show MIPIM, Birmingham City Council is targeting £9 billion of investment from property developers to meet the target of 80,000 new homes, having identified some 40 major brownfield sites.
Persimmon, a big housing group, recently acquired the 43-acre Selly Oak Hospital site in central Birmingham, which was presented at MIPIM last year, and has plans to kick-start major regeneration that will see 650 homes built.
Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “We need to provide quality housing for people. Today we set out our ambitions to achieve that, but also a practical plan to make it happen.
“Today’s Prospectus says loud and clear to developers that Birmingham is open for business, and that we mean business. The city is unrecognisable from a decade ago thanks the unprecedented amount that has been invested in growth. Businesses are flocking in record numbers, legions of young professionals are arriving, and start-ups are thriving. That success has brought an exciting housing challenge. It is a challenge we are determined to meet.”
Birmingham is well placed to attract the investment it needs. A combination of rapid growth, heavy investment in infrastructure and transport links, and comparatively low property prices has transformed the city into a world-leading property investment destination since the 2008 downturn. A recent PwC report revealed Birmingham was the 6th most attractive city in Europe for property investment, outstripping London in 10th place, with the largest mix of residential, commercial and leisure development opportunities in Britain.
With that business investment has come an influx of young professionals. Some 5,500 Londoners in their thirties moved to Birmingham last year alone – the highest of any regional city – and Birmingham is internationally recognised as having the best of quality of life of any UK city outside London*.
And the average house price in the region is £198,000**, well below the national average, which is also stoking demand. But prices are expected to increase 17% over the next four years*** as demand races ahead of supply.
Waheed Nazir, Director of Planning and Regeneration at Birmingham City Council, commented: “Traditionally, developers and investors have had to do all their own research, or employ land agents to find the best sites. We have made it easy for them by listing them all in this document all of the key sites for new housing. There is something in there for everyone – sites for student housing, sites for apartment development, for private rented developments, or for traditional suburban development of houses for rent and sale.
“We want to use the Prospectus to encourage inward investment into Birmingham, so even if a developer or investor is coming from outside the city – whether that be from London, Glasgow or Abu Dhabi – they can find all of the key residential opportunities in one document, together with the essential contacts for each site.”
Mark Evans, partner at Knight Frank, added: “From our research it is clear that Birmingham is enjoying a post-recession renaissance, not only in terms of jobs and business growth, but also in the fabric of the city. What we are seeing is that the activity in Birmingham, in economic terms as well as public realm planning, is also helping feed the strong demand for housing, not only from the domestic population within Birmingham, but also from those from London and the South East looking to take advantage of the price.
“The city’s mix of regeneration, re-development and job creation, as well as the relatively lower entry price for property, means that its draw to homebuyers and investors will likely continue to grow in the coming years. Furthermore the investment in infrastructure means that the city has a stronger base moving forward which will hopefully ensure the city is better placed in the future. This is all leading to greater interest from commercial occupiers in the city.”
* Mercer Quality of Living survey 2015
** ONS House Price Index
*** Knight Frank
- Rebecca Bannister, PR manager, Marketing Birmingham – 07903 924 896 / 0121 202 5112, email@example.com
- Rabia Raza, PR executive, Marketing Birmingham – 0121 202 5002, firstname.lastname@example.org