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Birmingham Is Being Recognised as the ‘New’ London

Birmingham Is Being Recognised as the ‘New’ London

As a leading property investment company, Surrenden Invest has for years been espousing the virtues of the Birmingham property market. Now, with London house prices falling for the last two years in a row, increasing numbers of investors are looking to Birmingham to be the home of their UK property investment.

According to the latest Nationwide figures, London house prices dropped by 0.8% in the year to December 2018, following a 0.5% fall in 2017. By contrast, the Nationwide figures show a 2.9% increase in house prices for the West Midlands for the year to Q4 2018.
However, it isn’t just because London prices are falling that the Surrenden Invest team are such strong advocates for Birmingham. Indeed, the team was extolling the virtues of all things Brum long before London house prices began to wobble!
Birmingham Is Being Recognised as the ‘New’ London

“This simple fact is, Birmingham is an amazing city that has an awful lot going for it. Its business community is thriving and there’s a palpable energy when it comes to startups and entrepreneurs in the city. Birmingham’s residents demand the very best, whether that’s cultural attractions, retail outlets or the restaurant scene – and that’s precisely what the city delivers. This is a modern metropolis that is drawing in new residents by the tens of thousands, and for very good reasons.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

Birmingham Property Investment Booming

According to the latest Office for National Statistics population growth projections, Birmingham’s population is expected to increase by around 166,000 people between 2018 and 2041 – a growth rate of 14.5%. This is another factor driving the new wave of property investor interest in England’s ‘second city.’
Birmingham Is Being Recognised as the ‘New’ London
One of the leading developments that is rising to meet the surge in demand is the centrally located Westminster Works. Home to 220 beautiful, loft-style apartments, Westminster Works is offering investment from £168,000. The building’s specification and facilities are superb, as befits such a prestigious development in this exciting city.

“With Westminster Works, what we see is apartments and amenities that deliver a new style of urban living to Birmingham’s aspirational, dynamic young professionals. The lively Digbeth location is the perfect site for this leading development, while the impressive roof terrace is a feature of which every resident can feel proud.””

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

Birmingham Regeneration Will Benefit the Midlands Population

The yields on offer in Birmingham are another reason that attention is moving away from London. Westminster Works offers solid yields of 5.0% NET – something which many developments in London are either struggling or failing to do.
Then there is the overall impact that regeneration work is having on the city. Grand Central’s opening in 2015 marked a step change in the way that many people thought about Birmingham. Now, the £500 million Birmingham Smithfield masterplan, located just behind Westminster Works, is taking regeneration to the next level. Head of city centre development and planning, Richard Cowell, has hailed it as, “an example to international cities,” with residents set to benefit not just from a new market area but from a museum, hotel, culture centres, leisure facilities and a 24-hour gourmet foodie hangout.

“This is the new face of Birmingham – and it’s leaving London looking old and tired. When it comes to UK property investment, Birmingham is the place to be.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

For regular updates on investing in Birmingham and other exciting UK regional cities, simply follow the Surrenden Invest team on social media.

The regional round-up – where will 2019’s housing hotspots be?

The regional round-up – where will 2019’s housing hotspots be?

We hear a lot about how the UK is in the midst of a housing crisis, and how the country is falling further and further behind each year in terms of delivering the number of homes that our population needs. Combined with the rapid rise in popularity of city centre living, this is creating pockets of extreme demand in some of the UK’s regional metropolises. With 2019 just around the corner, the Surrenden Invest team has done some number crunching (with a little help from our friends at the Office for National Statistics and Zoopla) to see which hotspots are worth keeping a close eye on over the year ahead.

Birmingham

2018 population: 1,147,300
2041 projected population: 1,313,300
Property price growth over past five years: 29.46%
Housing development to watch: Westminster Works

With a 14.5% population increase on the cards between now and 2041, Birmingham tops the list of 2019 hotspots. The city has a young population compared to the country as a whole, with its five university campuses attracting young people with a thirst for knowledge. The city has the sixth highest graduate retention rate of any UK city, and the third largest inflow of graduates with no prior connection to the city.
This 65,000-strong student talent pool provides Birmingham with a vast pipeline of future workers and entrepreneurs. It also means that stylish homes in city centre locations are, and will continue to be, in hot demand.

Manchester

2018 population: 553,500
2041 projected population: 631,500
Property price growth over past five years: 30.60%
Housing development to watch: Ancoats Gardens

Manchester is on track to experience a 14.1% population increase between 2018 and 2041, meaning it will be snapping at Birmingham’s heels in terms of growth. The city has already risen up the ranks in recent years, making it onto IBM’s list of top ten global destinations for foreign direct investment in 2017 (as part of the Manchester-Liverpool metropolitan region).
Manchester benefits from a steady influx of bright, enthusiastic young people. The city is second only to London in terms of its graduate returners (at 58%), as well as its inflow of graduates with no prior connection to the city. Businesses are doing much to harness this talent; Amazon, for example, chose Manchester as the site of its first Amazon Academy, running a series of programmes and events designed to help hundreds of small, local businesses. Future residential developments in the city centre will need to serve these entrepreneurial young professionals.

London

2018 population: 8,965,600
2041 projected population: 10,346,000
Property price growth over past five years: 32.36%
Housing development to watch: Brook House

London leads the UK in many respects, as a world-renowned centre for finance, business, education, tourism and more. Over the next 25 years or so, its population is projected to increase by 15.4%, driving demand for housing across the capital. From sleek, centrally located apartments to sprawling houses in the suburbs, London offers every kind of property imaginable, providing homes for workers from across the UK and the globe.
More than 300 languages are currently spoken in London’s schools, highlighting the diversity of the capital’s future workforce. The city attracts some of the best and brightest as a result of its vast range of employment opportunities and is home to a huge rental population. According to PWC, 60% of Londoners will rent their homes by 2025, as the city’s young (and not so young) professionals rent in ever greater numbers.

Liverpool

2018 population: 495,300
2041 projected population: 554,500
Property price growth over past five years: 24.67%
Housing development to watch: The Tannery

Liverpool is on track to experience a population increase of 12.0% between now and 2041, as the city continues to attract talented young people as a result of its thriving service sector, healthcare sector and knowledge economy. The city’s extensive cultural offering is also a draw, from its plentiful museums and art galleries to its excellent restaurants and lively music scene.
42% of Liverpool’s population is below the age of 30, compared with 37% nationally. This youthful population is driving forward Liverpool’s reputation as an innovative, entrepreneurial city. It is also one of the main forces behind the extensive regeneration that the city is experiencing, while the growing trend for city centre living is creating new hotspots close to key attractions and amenities.

Newcastle upon Tyne

2018 population: 297,400
2041 projected population: 318,100
Property price growth over past five years: 23.70%
Housing development to watch: Hadrian’s Tower

Newcastle’s city centre population has grown rapidly since the turn of the century. According to Centre for Cities, Newcastle city centre enjoyed population growth of 112% between 2002 and 2015. The massive jump in demand for city centre living is creating a hotbed of innovation with-in the housing sector, as developments seek to woo the bright young things who have flocked to the city for work and want prime accommodation in the heart of Newcastle.
With a superb social scene and a thriving urban renaissance well underway, Newcastle’s attractions to ambitious young professionals are plenty. It also has a rapidly growing student body as a result of its superb universities. Student numbers at Newcastle University have shot up by over 70% since 2000, while Northumbria University has enjoyed a student body increase in excess of 114% over the same period. With nearly 50,000 students in total, a full sixth of the city’s population is engaged in study, creating a uniquely youthful atmosphere as Newcastle grows its own talent for the future.

“Each of these cities has its own distinctive culture, which is drawing in young people who will ultimately contribute to the future success of that city. Those working in the housing sector need to respond accordingly, delivering high quality homes in central areas, in order to meet the demand that these young people are driving.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

For the latest news on property industry developments and the investment opportunities that they are creating, follow Surrenden Invest on social media.

Liverpool leads the UK for house price growth

Liverpool has just hit the headlines for leading the UK’s cities in terms of its house price growth. The Hometrack UK Cities House Price Index reported 7.5% inflation in Liverpool during the year to August 2018. For those working in the Liverpool property sector, the news comes as no surprise.

According to Hometrack, Liverpool’s average property price stood at £120,100 as at August 2018, against a UK average of £217,300. For those buying a main residence, that means 0% stamp duty. For those buying a second home (including investment properties) it means the lowest stamp duty rate, of 3%.
Factor in a 10-15% discount for off plan properties, and Liverpool really does have some exceptional investment deals available. Apartments at The Tannery, for example, are available for as little as £85,000, with anticipated yields of 6% net.
Despite the low entry price, the homes have been designed to offer outstanding quality, synonymous with the world’s greatest capital cities – those with which Liverpool has been rubbing shoulders on the IBM Global Location Trends report. Bright contemporary interiors are complemented by on-site facilities including a 24/7 concierge, secure underground parking, a spacious communal courtyard and a roof garden, all in the sought-after L3 postcode area.

“Liverpool has exceptionally strong credentials as a property investment destination. It has a booming city centre population, a thriving business community and a superb cultural offering. This combines to produce a high and sustained level of demand for decent, well-located rental homes, which in turn means that property investors can earn healthy yields, as well as enjoying the potential for impressive capital growth.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest
As part of the Liverpool-Manchester metropolitan area, Liverpool was recently flagged up by IBM’s annual Global Location Trends report as being among the top ten cities in the world for foreign direct investment (FDI). The area pulled in the tenth highest number of FDI projects in 2017, according to the report, resulting in the creation of some 7,000 jobs.
Earlier this year, TripAdvisor also highlighted Liverpool as one of the best places in the world to visit. The city’s cultural offering was key to that decision. This year, it is offering a year-long programme of events, exhibitions, seasons and performances to mark the ten-year anniversary of Liverpool being crowned European Capital of Culture. One of the most impressive offerings is the Terracotta Warriors exhibition, which is drawing in visitors from around the UK and beyond.

“Liverpool is one of those rare cities that has it all. It’s a delightful blend of economic opportunities, cultural pursuits, a superb gastronomic scene, a lively sporting offering and a thriving property market. The city also enjoys property prices that are well below the average for the UK, which is another reason that it is such an exciting prospect for property investors.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

For regular updates on Liverpool and its property market, as well as other UK regional cities, you can follow the Surrenden Invest team on social media.

Birmingham property investment analysis – ask the experts

Investors from around the world are flocking to pick up property in Birmingham, with developments such as Westminster Works seeing a strong, sustained level of interest. In September, Birmingham was highlighted by PropCast’s England & Wales House Selling Weather Report, with four of the city’s postcode areas making it into the top ten best areas to sell a property. National property expert John Parker, Surrenden Invest’s Business Development Director, explains what it is that makes Birmingham so alluring, and why now is the right time to give full attention to this dynamic city.

Why is now the right time to invest in property in Birmingham?

Birmingham was named as the sixth best city in Europe for investment prospects in 2017 by PwC. 2017 also saw it crowned as the most improved city in the UK in which to live and work. With a youthful population (the youngest of any major city in Europe, with 45% of the population under 30) and an impressive cultural offering, England’s ‘second city’ has much to offer aspiring entrepreneurs and those looking to climb the corporate career ladder.
The city also has a bright future. At present, it is growing faster than 31 of London’s 33 boroughs, while HS2 looks set to cement its future as one of the UK’s leading economic power-houses. The high speed rail network will connect London Euston to Birmingham by 2026. This has driven a wave of investment in areas such as Digbeth and Curzon Street, as station works inspired by HS2 create a ripple effect that benefits the surrounding location. With £1 billion of investment behind the development work, several new neighbourhoods will result.
At the same time, a low supply of properties and extremely high property prices in London are driving buy to let investors out of the capital and straight into the open arms of markets such as Birmingham. Average property values have increased there by 31% over the last five years, while a further 20-30% hike in prices is expected over the next three to four years, off the back of the Big City Plan’s ambitious 20-year vision.

What should buyers look for in a Birmingham investment property?

It sounds simple, but the three questions I ask myself are:
– Would I buy it myself to live in?
– Can you rent it out?
– Can you sell it?
Other than that, it’s a case of choosing the area wisely. Birmingham is home to many affluent and emerging areas, with the Jewellery Quarter, the Convention Quarter and Digbeth all making names for themselves. The type of property also needs careful thought, with consideration given to renter trends. Larger apartments are growing in popularity and there’s a big shortage of them in city centre locations.
Finally, think about unique features. Homes with high ceilings or a premium specification will stand out from the crowd and should attract a queue of would-be tenants, thus minimizing void periods.

Which areas of Birmingham are particularly attractive to investors?

Birmingham has plenty of areas that investors are keen to be a part of right now. New Street Station (England’s busiest railway station outside of London) is where it all began. By creating a massive, impressive gateway to the city, with a smorgasbord of restaurants, shopping and entertainment right on your doorstep, it opened investors’ eyes to the city’s potential, and residents’ eyes to the benefits of a new style of urban living. Birmingham is now attracting plenty of people who want to live in the centre, working, eating, sleeping and playing all in the same ultra-convenient location.
With waves of large-scale regeneration sweeping Birmingham, the city has a number of investment hotspots, with the city centre as the core. The massive residential and retail zone of Smithfield and the new cultural quarter in the east are two great examples. In addition, the central business and shopping district is booming in terms of price, scale and the influx of companies moving in. The presence of Deutsche Bank, HSBC, HM Revenue & Customs and their ilk is drawing workers to seek centrally located homes.
In a nutshell, the most exciting city centre locations at present are the area around Mailbox and Holloway Head, the Jewellery Quarter, Digbeth and the cultural district to the east. Further out, both Edgbaston and Ladywood are proving popular.

The Mailbox
Ladywood
Holloway Head
The Jewellery Quarter
Digbeth
Edgbaston
Westminster Works

What should buyers be wary of?

Due to Birmingham having been heralded as the new darling of overseas property, and investors looking to avoid the over-inflated values and dwindling yields of London, the former’s property market is highly competitive, which can at times lead to frustration. Much of the city’s pipeline of residential developments have already been purchased off plan, while its burgeoning ‘Build to Rent’ sector is also introducing a new element of competition.
That aside, and with standard due diligence checks taken into account, price is probably the most important aspect to be wary off. When you buy off plan, it’s important not to pay over inflated prices, especially in the more prime developments in the city.
It’s common to see developments that are selling out some 18 months before completion and being market at prices that would be more appropriate were they completing today. It means that developers are not passing on the speculative discount that one should expect to receive for buying off plan so far in advance. Discounts of 10-15% are reasonable; if an apartment would be worth £200,000 upon completion today, but won’t be complete for another 18 months, then a price of £180,000 would be more appropriate.

What kind of due diligence should investors carry out?

That aside, and with standard due diligence checks taken into account, price is probably the most important aspect to be wary off. When you buy off plan, it’s important not to pay over inflated prices, especially in the more prime developments in the city.
Other than that, put yourself in the rental market mindset. Rental demand is the number one factor that will drive capital growth, as well as being critically important to service any debt that you may have on the property. Look into location, local infrastructure, public transport links, nearby amenities, entertainment options, bars, restaurants and anything else that could contribute to the development being a solid rental investment moving forward.

What sets Birmingham apart from other UK cities?

Birmingham has a number of important selling points as a property investment location. Its extensive regeneration work means that pockets of potential and value are being unlocked across the city. Its youthful population and dynamic business environment are also key.
Then there is the London factor. Take Holloway Head as an example. It might not look like much now, but many are already labelling it the soon-to-be ‘Millionaires Row,’ meaning that they are hedging their bets on a new tide of London-centric commuters being brought in by HS2. When complete, HS2 will mean that people can travel from Birmingham to London in the same time it would take to get from Dulwich (in South East London) to the West End. That’s going to make a big difference and it’s something that other regional cities, which are further from the capital, simply can’t offer.

What is your top piece of advice for those considering investing in property in Birmingham?

Think carefully about the location you choose, particularly if it’s short term capital growth that is driving your investment.

For regular updates from John and his fellow national investment and property experts at Surrenden Invest, follow us on social media.

Why is it that prime property buyers just can’t get enough of Birmingham?

  • Prime Birmingham residential values to hit £500 PSF by 2020 (Knight Frank)

  • West Midlands property prices rising at fastest rate in UK (Halifax)

  • Birmingham’s innovation and dynamism, along with HS2, capture attention of overseas investors (Surrenden Invest)

It wasn’t too long ago that those with a passion for property almost took pride in never looking further than the prime London property market. Now, however, it is Birmingham that has cap-tured investors’ imaginations – and for more than purely financial reasons.

Property investment is fundamentally about making money, but as the buy-to-let market has matured, we’ve seen a shift in investors’ outlook. There’s something compelling about own-ing a property in Birmingham and investors are keen to be part of the action. It’s a city with a real buzz about it, so while London stagnates, investors are seeking to be a part of the action in Birmingham.”

Jonathan Stephens, Managing Director, Surrenden Invest
The UK’s second city certainly has the right credentials in terms of its numbers. The West Mid-lands housing market saw annual house price growth of 7% during Q2 2018, according to Hali-fax, meaning that prices there are rising significantly faster than anywhere else in the UK (the next highest house price increases were in Wales and Scotland, which both recorded growth of 3.7%). Within Birmingham itself, the pace of increase appears to be even faster, with Hometrack’s UK Cities House Price Index reporting a rise of 2.9% in the past year alone.
But price rises are only half of the story when it comes to Birmingham. The city also provides exceptional value in terms of its asking prices. The average Birmingham property costs just £161,100. That’s cheaper than the average for Manchester, Leicester, Leeds and a wide range of other regional cities. It’s also well below the UK average of £218,600, according to Hometrack’s figures.
The story so far as prime city centre property is concerned is even more compelling. In London, prime sales volumes have plummeted by 16.9% over the past year, according to the Q2 2018 Coutts London Prime Property Index, while prices have fallen by 1.7%. This is in stark contrast to Birmingham, where Knight Frank has projected that prime residential values will continue rising, hitting £500 per square foot by 2020.

The numbers stack up so well in Birmingham that it’s easy to see why the city’s prime resi-dential market has captured such attention both within the UK and overseas. A range of other factors come into play too. Birmingham is known for its striking, modern architecture and has an outstanding reputation as a shopping and leisure destination. Cultural pursuits and eco-nomic opportunities abound and the city has become a magnet for big businesses looking to relocate away from the expense and congestion of London.”

Jonathan Stephens, Managing Director, Surrenden Invest
HSBC, Barclays, Deutsche Bank and HMRC are among those to have been drawn to Birmingham in recent years. Now, the city is also among the top three options for the location of Channel 4’s new headquarters. And still property prices remain well below the UK average.
HS2 has played an important role in elevating Birmingham in the eyes of investors in recent years. The high speed network has pushed forward a number of regeneration schemes within the city, with enhanced connectivity to London and Europe seen as a key driver for Birmingham’s rising reputation overseas. Regeneration work is widespread, with areas such as Digbeth and Smithfield benefiting particularly.

One of the most notable things we’re seeing about the investment that is pouring into Bir-mingham is the focus on city centre living. Residences in the vicinity of iconic buildings, such as the Bullring or the Mailbox, are commanding attention from investors looking for premium properties in top locations.”

Jonathan Stephens, Managing Director, Surrenden Invest
Interest in the city is so strong that leading property investment agency Surrenden Invest has been taken aback at the speed with which homes at its Westminster Worksdevelopment are selling. Priced from £165,000, the properties provide investors with a 5% NET yield and plenty of scope for capital growth. The Surrenden Invest team is now poised to unveil a further Bir-mingham development, in close proximity to the Mailbox, although further details of this are currently being kept under wraps. One thing is for certain though – in this dynamic and fast-paced city, the next innovation is just around the corner.

Follow us and stay updated with the latest industry developments from our team of experts.

The Changing Birmingham Property Market in 2017

Birmingham has changed more in the past 30 years than just about any other city in the UK, and regeneration and development is showing no signs of slowing down. New areas of the city are being opened up, leading to positive changes across the region.

Commercial Developments

Birmingham’s central business district and core office market have received significant investment over the last 5 years. Modern office space is attracting new businesses to the city, including some of the UK’s biggest financial institutions, such as HSBC and Deutsche Bank. Demand is growing in Birmingham, and combined with the increase in high-quality office space, we can expect to see rents increase to £35 per sq ft by the end of next year, which is excellent news for Birmingham property investors.

TMT Growth in the City

Birmingham is seeing highest demand from Technology, Media and Telecoms (TMT), which now represents around 20% of all new property deals. We are also expecting to see growth from the Fin Tech, Media and Biomedical sectors, and this will lead to a rise in professional and financial services.

Investment

Although the Brexit referendum has slowed business slightly, demand was already running at unprecedented levels and the occupier market continues to hold steady. Yields for prime office space should stay at around 5.25%. Birmingham continues to attract significant overseas investment, which is generating increased demand.

Residential Investments

Birmingham is attracting buyers from London who tend to have higher expectations. As a result, developers are building higher quality apartments and taking more care to create more desirable environments around developments. Birmingham’s build-to-rent sector is expected to supply 55 new units every year in the city centre by 2020, placing Birmingham as the country’s leading Build-to-Rent investment zone.
Birmingham’s demographics are also changing, with a growing younger population, attracted by the affordable housing market and improved career opportunities. There are around 1900 international businesses in Birmingham, and the city boasts the largest professional service sector outside of London.

Prime Value Set To Rise To £500 Per Foot by 2020

Birmingham’s commercial and residential hotspots are being supported by infrastructure improvements and city centre regeneration, which is making the city more appealing to businesses and families alike. We predict that rising demand will push prices to £500 per square foot in prime city locations, making Birmingham ripe for investment.

Birmingham’s New Property Hotspots

Birmingham is undergoing a wave of residential and commercial development that is taking the city to new heights and providing residents and businesses with a wealth of new opportunities and talent. Here are the hottest developments in Birmingham this year.

Westside

Westside was originally one of the most important suppliers of commercial rent in central Birmingham and the redevelopment of Brindleyplace during the 1990s helped to fuel this. However, over the following decade, Snowhill, on the opposite side of the city, started to grow in importance, and there was a rivalry between these two opposing locations.
More recently, major developments at Arena Central and Paradise have, combined with Birmingham’s new library and Baskerville House, connected the Westside to the Birmingham’s centre to create a larger and more dynamic central business district. The area has seen commercial giants such as HSBC, Network Rail and PWC create new hubs in the area.
Westside’s infrastructure continues to improve with new vistas forming, which were previously blocked by the old library. Now New Street and local amenities are far more accessible, providing a more attractive urban landscape for residents and workers alike.

Snowhill District

On the opposite side of the tracks is the Snowhill District, which is growing as a major business district, with the arrival of KPMG, AECOM, Amey, Gowling WLG and EY.
The Snowhill Masterplan is taking shape and new developments include 3 Snowhill, Post and Mail, and Birmingham’s skyscraper zone. Snow Hill has improved rail services to London Marylebone, and a new tram line provides fast commuting to and from Wolverhampton to the north, and New Street to the south.
Also in development in the Eastern Metro extension that will link to Curzon Street station, the terminus of the HS2 high-speed line to London. The latest plans will see newly created pedestrian access across the area, making the urban environment far more attractive.

Colmore Row

Colmore Row is the traditional core of Birmingham’s professional district. For many years Colmore Row’s development stagnated due to a lack of new sites. However, there have been several new development opportunities of late that have improved the quality of rental accommodation available, which has helped boost occupier expectations and rental levels across the area.
The most exciting developments include IM Property’s 55 Colmore Row, Rockspring/Sterling’s 103 Colmore Row and Ardstone’s 1 Newhall Street, which provide quality properties that link to the Westside and Snowhill business areas.
This whole area has experienced gentrification with the opening of many restaurants, bars and cafes, as well as a revamped Grant Hotel, which has turned the whole area vibrant and happening area.

Jewellery Quarter

The Jewellery Quarter provides some of the best residential properties, with converted factories and traditional townhouses, along with more convention new builds.
This area has its own business hub, which is dominated by start-ups, making it one of the most desirable areas to live, making it Birmingham’s Shoreditch. New metro connections to New Street Station have helped to further bolster its appeal, and the new Eastern Metro extension, due for completion in 2026, will provide a fast link to Curzon Street and the HS2 terminus. The Jewellery Quarter is also within a 15 minute walk of Snow Hill station, which will further be improved with new pedestrian routes.

Gun Quarter

On the edge of Jewellery Quarter and Snow Hill is Gun Quarter, just a short walk from the CBD. Although central, this area has some discounted properties providing some excellent investment opportunities. Gun Quarter will also benefit greatly from the Snowhill Masterplan and become a key residential area in the city, making it ripe for property investors.
As well as excellent rail connections, tramlines and pedestrian access across the city, these areas also benefit from easy access to the motorway network, via that A38. Looking further ahead, we can see that Birmingham will start to rival London and the Northern Powerhouse as a key area for growth and development for the next generation.