BY JOANNA DAVIS
Investors across the world would agree that the UK’s property market is one of the most stable to invest in and despite Brexit, it looks set to reclaim its position as Europe’s leading investment market in 2019, particularly with technology. However, whilst London has historically been the strongest market for investors, over recent years its sky-high prices and increased cost of living have seen its popularity wane. As yields and ROI have continued to slump, instead, investors are looking towards the first cities, such as Birmingham, where investments are more affordable, and higher yields are far more achievable.
So what has caused this shift in investor activity towards Birmingham, and why should more South African investors be following suit?
Better Value Across the Market
Whilst costs to live and work in London city have skyrocketed to levels only easily afforded by the very wealthy, Birmingham in comparison offers a city centre that may be smaller than London, but offers most of the amenities found in the capital with a far more affordable price tag. Birmingham is also still growing, offering room for new business, buildings, people and sustainable growth, whereas the capital is a much more saturated market.
Unprecedented Tech Growth
With the UK leading the way for tech investment in 2018, Birmingham has continued to build on its history of engineering and data sciences, focusing on efforts to grow across digital technology and increase its value to the overall economy. This has resulted in winning the bid to trial 5G technology, with the second city set to host a large-scale test bed of the revolutionary tech.
Over 100 times faster than 4G, this new technology could improve public transport, hospitals and emergency services immeasurably while encouraging start-ups and helping established businesses evolve and grow.
Location has always been critical for investors – Birmingham enviably sits at the very heart of the UK, with all major UK cities accessible in under two hours. Furthermore, in the past 18 months, works on HS2 – which will slash train journeys to London to just 49 minutes – have taken major steps forward, meaning the city is another step closer to fast, easy access to the capital and all major, global business there.
Record levels of inward investment
A combination of this value and the connectivity Birmingham offers amongst other benefits has attracted big national and international corporate businesses such as HSBC, HMRC and PwC to open new headquarters within the city – with HSBC’s having recently opened this October.
On a global scale, Birmingham has been named the host of the 2022 Commonwealth Games while during 2017 Birmingham attracted its highest number of FDI projects to date.
Strongest economy outside London
As well as the city’s impressive investment statistics, Birmingham also has a £24.8billion economy – the strongest outside London – and is home to the largest business, financial and professional services (BFPS) hub in the UK outside London. Birmingham currently employs more than 123,000 people in this sector, and in the period 2016 to 2022, this is expected to have grown by 19,000 according to the Birmingham Skills Investment Plan.
Whilst global businesses have undeniably recognised Birmingham’s huge offering and potential, so have the public. As London continues to outprice renters and buyers alike, they are increasingly looking further and further outside the capital for an equally attractive but more affordable alternative. As a testament to this, ONS data analysed by Knight Frank recently revealed that Birmingham topped the list of places in the UK that welcomed thehighest number of people leaving Londonin 2017.
This can be attributed to the sheer amount of investment entering into the city, creating entirely new residential, commercial and retail spaces while bringing generational developments to the city. From HS2, Paradise and Arena Central to Birmingham Smithfield, these future developments will shape the Birmingham skyline for years to come.
As a major part of Birmingham’s growing landscape, SevenCapital currently has a number of exciting investment opportunities across Birmingham, designed to help you reach your investment objectives going forward
To find out more about these opportunities and SevenCapital, visit sevencapital.com/developments (https://sevencapital.com/developments/?utm_medium=paid%20advertising&utm_source=online%20feature&utm_campaign=ahead%20of%20the%20market%20&utm_content=reim%20digimag%20article%20february