Published: May 5, 2022

Why renters are choosing Birmingham

Written by Amber Furr
Why renters are choosing Birmingham

Birmingham’s global profile is growing. From Peaky Blinders to the Commonwealth Games, a spotlight is being shone on the UK’s second city, attracting unprecedented global investment.

Projected to achieve the highest house price and rental growth of any UK city over the next five years, Birmingham’s high performance is underpinned by its rapidly growing population and a supply and demand imbalance. But what is attracting renters to live and work in Birmingham?

With major projects transforming the city including High-Speed 2 (HS2), the Snow Hill Masterplan and the GBP 500 million airport expansion, it’s easy to see why The Times recently named Birmingham as one of the best places to live in 2022.

We’ve outlined 4 key areas attracting tenants to Birmingham.

1. Job Market

With a graduate retention rate of 41% from the city’s five universities, Birmingham has excellent job prospects. The Colmore business district is home to global blue-chip companies including investment banking giant, Goldman Sachs, Lloyd’s Bank and HSBC Bank.

Goldman Sachs recently launched a scholar’s programme with the University of Birmingham, to “develop a pipeline of young and diverse talent to support the growth of its new office and Engineering division in Birmingham.”

Rising to second in the list of UK’s top tech cities, a recent report highlights that Millennials and Generation Z will be critical to filling the roles created by the tech sector in Birmingham – the prime renter demographic.

HS2 alone is expected to bring 50,000 additional jobs to the West Midlands, as is reflected in the city’s 10% employment growth predictions over the next decade.

2. Education

Being England’s most significant local education authority, Birmingham schools provide a strong selection of world-class education establishments. There are approximately 400 schools in Birmingham, most of which are community schools managed by Birmingham City Council.

The city has five renowned universities, including Russell Group institution – the University of Birmingham. The University of Birmingham recently opened a Dubai campus, giving students the opportunity to study abroad at the ‘world’s smartest campus’.

With a 41% graduate retention rate, it is no surprise that Birmingham has the youngest city population in Europe. Making the city a prime property investment location, this demographic of young professionals accounts for a large percentage of Build-to-Rent tenants, with a third of millennials now expected to rent their entire lives.

3. Connectivity

Ideally located in the heart of the UK, Birmingham is the central hub connecting London with the Northern Powerhouse – a journey to be improved with the implementation of HS2. HS2 will cut the journey time from Birmingham to the capital from 1 hour 24 minutes to just 52 minutes, making the city a commuter hotspot for millions of Londoners seeking more affordable rent and better amenities.

Birmingham International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the UK, handling 12.5 million passengers each year. According to the airport’s own projections, this number is expected to rise to 18 million by 2023, as plans to expand the airport include an investment of GBP 500 million which will re-build the terminals for an improved passenger experience. Close alignment with HS2 has formed part of the airport’s thinking for almost a decade.

4. Cultural Powerhouse

Forming the backdrop of award-winning TV series and cultural phenomenon, Peaky Blinders, Birmingham is a cultural powerhouse with a rich history. Stemming from its important role in both World Wars and the Industrial Revolution, innovation and entrepreneurship are still prevalent and thriving in the world’s first manufacturing town.

Today, Birmingham has the most Michelin Starred restaurants in the UK outside of London, is home to the UK’s busiest theatre (the Hippodrome), and has the largest public library in Europe. With more canals than Venice and more green space than any other UK city, Birmingham’s natural beauty mustn’t be overlooked.

Despite Birmingham’s rapidly expanding population and rental demand, there is a comparatively low supply of purpose-built rental homes.

Select Property Group’s premium residential brand, Affinity Living, is expanding to Birmingham following the incredible successful of four Manchester developments. Promising the brand’s standards of prime central location, premium amenities, outdoor space, and a pet-friendly ethos, Affinity Living Lancaster Wharf will bring a new standard of city centre living to Birmingham – a city where a quarter of households rent their properties.

Affinity Living Lancaster Wharf is an incredible opportunity for Birmingham, our investors and their tenants. To find out more about Birmingham property investment, get in touch to arrange an initial chat with one of our property consultants.

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