Your Buy-to-Let property guide to the areas and tenant profiles in Birmingham. Learn about rents, yields and what factors matter to tenants in 2023.
Is Birmingham a good place for landlords to invest in?
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands, England. Its working population has increased by 21% in the last 22 years and as of 2022 the city has 1.15 million residents, forecast to reach more than 1.2 million (+4%) inhabitants by 2035. Located approximately 100 miles (160 km) from Central London, Birmingham is fondly dubbed the United Kingdom’s Second City, and is considered to be the social, cultural, financial and commercial centre of the Midlands.
Birmingham is home to many entertainment and leisure venues, including Europe’s largest leisure and entertainment complex, Star City, as well as Europe’s first out-of-city-centre entertainment and leisure complex, namely, Resorts World Birmingham. It was also host to the Commonwealth Games in 2022, drawing drones of international attention. Birmingham’s economy has grown by 122% since the year 2000, totalling £36 billion as of 2022. The economy is expected to expand by a further 63% to reach £59 billion by 2035. The city has a strong business community and is home to several large corporations, including HSBC and PwC, which provide job opportunities and drive demand for rental properties. Birmingham also is an educational hub as it is home to six universities, making it ideal for students. With a city full of young working professionals and students, the opportunities for prosperous property investment are high.
Read on to learn about the most popular buy-to-let investment locations in Birmingham and what tenants and features you need to consider for each.
Birmingham Rental Market Overview
As the second most populous city in the UK, it’s no surprise that Birmingham’s buy-to-let opportunities reflect that. Birmingham’s thriving rental market, coupled with its growing population and economic development, has attracted many buy-to-let landlords. The city offers a range of property investment opportunities in residential and commercial property. Ongoing regeneration projects are the result of the subsequent increase in wealth and economic growth. Birmingham’s property prices have increased by 80% over the past 10 years and the city expects to see a further 19.2% growth from now until 2027.
Birmingham has a high demand for rental properties, driven by its six universities and a strong job market. With a significant international student population, there are particular areas nearby with a strong demand for student accommodation. With the second highest rental forecast outside of London, the rental growth forecast is set to to increase 19.3% between 2023 – 2027. The average rent in Birmingham has increased 4.7% between September 2021 and September 2022. And with the introduction of the HS2 high-speed railway line, which is due to open between 2029 and 2033, the distance between Birmingham and the UK’s other major cities will be much shorter. This therefore will result in the London commuter belt widening, and further boost the housing market in Birmingham.
Birmingham’s Top Areas for Investment
Jewellery Quarter (B1)
With 200 listed buildings, the Jewellery Quarter is undeniably one of the most charming and attractive places to live and work in the city of Birmingham. Dating back to the 18th century, it is home to the largest collection of Victorian and 20th century buildings devoted to jewellery manufacturing in Europe. The manufacturing industry is still thriving today with the Quarter producing 40% of all the jewellery made in the UK.
Since its industrial start, the area has attracted significant investment and restoration and is now home to a bustling food & beverage scene. Bars and modern eateries line the streets up to St Pauls Quarter, along with trendy stores and galleries attracting young professionals from across the city.
Jewellery Quarter Housing Market
The Jewellery Quarter is the ‘national treasure’ of Birmingham, with celebrated architecture that is regenerated and restored to house many young working professionals that live and work in the area. The young professionals work in creative industries, including jewellery design, architecture, graphic design, and digital media. The area’s artistic and entrepreneurial atmosphere makes it an appealing choice for individuals starting their careers or seeking a vibrant work-life balance. With just a 2-minute drive to the Central Birmingham College and a 6-minute drive to Aston University, the Jewellery Quarter is therefore an attractive location for students, especially those studying disciplines related to art, design, and business.
The average sale price for the Jewellery Quarter (B1), according to Zoopla over the past 12 months is £383,059 (May 2023). We have collated a case study on a completed development typical of the area with rental market statistics to give you an overview of what to expect below. The average sale price for the Jewellery Quarter (B1), according to Zoopla over the past 12 months is £383,059 (May 2023).
Development Case Study: Bishton Fletcher Building in the Jewellery Quarter
The Bishton Fletcher Building, launched in 2020, is located in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter and is managed by Complete Prime Residential Ltd. This residence was sensitively restored and converted into 12 bespoke, modern apartments. Properties were priced between £302,000 and £385,500.
- Project Completion Date: 2021
- Number of Units: 12 two-beds
- Avg. Selling Price per sqft at point of sale: £398
- Tenure: 250 years
- LTV: 70%
Complete Prime Residential’s Management
- Average Rent for a 2 bed: £1200 – £1275 with no parking
- Achieved Rental v. Projected Rents: 94%
- Current Average Rental Yield: 4.28%
- Current Average Tenancy Term: 11.5 months
City Centre (B15)
Living in the city centre of Birmingham, specifically in the B15 area, is an exhilarating experience. The vibrant atmosphere and constant buzz of activity create a lively and dynamic environment. The B15 district is known for its bustling streets, lined with a diverse range of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. The proximity to cultural attractions such as Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Symphony Hall, and the ICC provides residents with easy access to a rich tapestry of art, music, and theatre. With just a 15-minute walk to the Birmingham City University, the city centre makes it a convenient area for students to live in. Additionally, the city centre’s excellent transportation links make commuting convenient, whether by bus, train, or tram. The B15 area make it an exciting place to call home for those who thrive in the heart of a vibrant city.
City Centre Housing Market
The type of person living in Birmingham city centre, is diverse and varied. This area attracts a wide range of residents, including young professionals, students, and individuals who enjoy the urban lifestyle. Professionals are drawn to this location for its proximity to business districts, employment opportunities and excellent transport links. The presence of the University of Birmingham also attracts students looking for accommodation near the campus. Also, the cultural amenities, entertainment venues, and vibrant nightlife of the city centre appeal to individuals seeking an active and engaging urban lifestyle.
According to Zoopla, in B15, the average sale price for a property in the last 12 months is £411,125.
Development Case Study: The Curve at Park Central, Birmingham
The Curve at Park Central is a luxurious south city centre residence that is managed by Complete Prime Residential Ltd. Located in the heart of an area that is undergoing an urban renaissance, the tenants benefit from convenience and the tranquillity of park-side living.
- Project Launch: May 2017
- No. of Units Launched: 145 (Phase 1 & 2)
- Unit Type: 1-2 bedroom
- Average Price at sale: £232,783
- Average Price psf at sale: £339
- Estimated Growth since launch: 37.16%
- Estimated Current psf: £406
Complete Prime Residential’s Management
- Average Rent: 1 bed £850 – £900, 2 bed £1100 – £1250 (incl. parking), 3 bed £1450 (incl. parking)
- Achieved Rent vs. Projected Rent: 101%
- Current Average Yield: 4.7%
- Current Average Tenancy Term: 12 months
Digbeth, located in Birmingham, England, is an eclectic neighbourhood that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and creativity. According to the New York Times, Digbeth is known as the ‘coolest neighbourhood in Britain’, with special mention to its’ artisanal restaurants, cinema and art venues. The area prides itself on supporting local businesses, and you’ll find a variety of unique stores selling vintage clothing, handmade crafts, and artisanal goods.
In recent years, Digbeth has undergone significant regeneration efforts. The area has seen the transformation of old industrial spaces into creative hubs, residential developments, and modern office spaces. These ongoing initiatives are revitalizing the neighbourhood and attracting investment. Digbeth’s central location makes it easily accessible from other parts of Birmingham. It’s within walking distance of the city centre and benefits from excellent transportation links, including bus services and train connections. With the new HS2 railway, Birmingham Curzon Street Station will become the hub of the West Midlands’ high-speed rail network. As a result of this, the property values in Digbeth are set to rise in the near future.
Digbeth Housing Market
Digbeth attracts a significant number of young professionals who are drawn to the area’s vibrant arts and culture scene, as well as its close proximity to the city centre. Digbeth’s proximity to several universities and colleges, including Birmingham City University, attracts a student population. Digbeth’s alternative and bohemian character appeals to individuals who prefer a non-conventional lifestyle. Its central location makes it appealing to professionals who work in Birmingham’s city centre. The residents of Digbeth take pride in spending time in the celebrated Smithfield area and at the iconic Custard Factory, which is a restored Victorian factory. The neighbourhood’s ongoing regeneration efforts and increasing popularity may also lead to attracting a wider range of tenants in the future.
According to Zoopla, the average sold price for a property in B12 in the last 12 months is £207,376.
Development Case Study: East and Green, Birmingham
East & Green will be IP Global’s striking new development, under Complete Prime Residential Ltd.’s management. East & Green will be situated in the beating heart of Digbeth’s regeneration, just a 5-minute walk from The Custard Factory and Smithfield.
- Completion: July 2024
- Number of units: 74 one- and two-bedroom units
- Projected Rent: 1 bed £825 – £875, 2 bed £1050 – £1200
- Size: 540 sqft to 771 sqft
- Starting price: £198,000
- LTV: up to 70%
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