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Situated in the heart of England, Birmingham holds a population of just over 1 million, with an economic output of £18 billion per year. This makes Birmingham the UK’s second-largest city. Furthermore, the property sector is in the early stages of a major growth spurt, especially as property prices are still low.
Over the next 20 years, the city will hope to achieve growth in the population by 100,000. This booming population growth will increase the need for accommodation, therefore, boosting levels of housing demand. The plan will also help to create new jobs and work towards significantly improving the city’s connectivity to the rest of the region and beyond. The project aims to support sustainable growth, create new and improved public spaces, and bring Birmingham’s vibrant culture back to the heart of the city.
The Big City Plan is one of the UK’s most ambitious, far-reaching development projects. The master plan covers a multitude of aspects, which aims to transform Birmingham over the coming years.
Development in the city could grow the city core by 25% and deliver up to 50,000 new jobs whilst providing £2.1 billion for the economy. The Big City Plan aims to improve facilities for walking and cycling, whilst creating a well-connected, efficient, and walkable city. In order to achieve the objectives, a new road layout will be under construction to support the wider £700 million-plus regeneration of Perry Barr. The local city council announced that thanks to the project, 512 jobs had been created against a target of 400. Contractors within the project have said the aim is to “raise awareness of the importance of sustainability, as we aim for net-zero carbon by 2025 and absolute-zero by 2040.”
Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone which launched on 14th June 2021, operates in central Birmingham. The Clean Air Zone operates 24-hours a day, 365 days of the year. Any vehicle that does not meet the emission standards are subject to a daily fee. Within the first year, there have been early indications of a decrease in Nitrogen Dioxide levels by an average of 13%. Therefore, proving that the city is taking the right step towards a brighter and cleaner future.
Furthermore, the project aims to provide over 5,000 new homes by transforming 27 hectares of land, to create new residential, office, leisure, and community spaces. According to the Leader of Birmingham City Council, Councillor Ian Ward, “Birmingham is now attracting record levels of property investment, and the Masterplan is testament to that”.
Having surpassed the halfway point, Birmingham is now unrecognisable. Birmingham is a location which has seen a lot of growth over recent years. It is no surprise that the major economic powerhouse is overtaking competitors. The Big City Plan has improved transport links and connectivity across the city, all whilst enhancing architectural prospects. Birmingham is now in the top third of the UK for quality of life.
One major project which has been exceptionally successful is the ‘£600 million Gateway scheme’, which saw the transformation of Birmingham New Street station. The train station was once known as the ‘UK’s ugliest building’, and now seen as a ‘value-engineered’ icon. New Street is the busiest station outside London and the busiest interchange station in Britain – acting as a catalyst for inner-city regeneration. The railway is vital to Britain’s economic growth. It helps create jobs, offers more business opportunities, and supports capital growth. As an investor, you want to get the most of out your investment. As of 2022, house prices are showing positive year-on-year growth. House prices in Birmingham are expected to rise more than in any city in the UK over the next 5 years. This makes Birmingham an ideal time for investment.
Completed in 2012, another considerable achievement is the £12 million regeneration of the urban city park ‘Eastside City Park’. This was the first urban park in Birmingham for 130 years. City parks have numerous benefits. They increase property value, stimulate local economies, and protect cities from environmental impact. Having achieved a Green Flag Award, the park itself has over 14,000 square metres of landscaped green space and hundreds of trees. To continue going green, over the next 30 years Birmingham sees its future as a Bolder Greener City, responding directly to the climate change challenge. Over the next 25 years, the plans will ensure that the younger generation inherits a much improved, fairer, and greener city. Adopting this sustainable approach will benefit the economy enormously. A £2.5 billion pound uplift in capital value is expected.
Big City Plan: Awaiting Achievements
With a significant focus on sustainability, there are an additional number of development schemes in progress, one being ‘Making Birmingham Green’ by 2026. ‘Making Birmingham Green’ has an ambitious target for a 60% reduction in the city’s carbon dioxide emissions. There is the highly promising project of ‘HS2’: A new high-speed railway line from London to the West Midlands. Phase One will set to open between 2029 and 2033. This will provide further connectivity to the city from other major UK cities. Walking routes will also be prioritised, which will support ambitions for a liveable and well-connected city. Birmingham’s highest-profile office ‘Paradise’ provides 12,000 workers with access and delivers 1.8 million sq. ft of contemporary space. With the city effectively becoming a commuter hotspot, this drives demand for a much higher tenant base.
The Big City Plan has provided a huge growth in the property market expectancy. If you are looking to achieve capital growth, then Birmingham is the perfect spot. Birmingham rental yields have risen by 28% in the last 10 years. Birmingham rental yields are currently outperforming the national average of 5%. Since 2016, property prices have increased by 16%, one of the highest growths in the UK. Additionally, property prices are expected to increase by a further 15% by 2023.
As we start to see the end of the pandemic, the recovery strategy is extremely important in aiding economic growth. The regeneration project is seemingly improving Birmingham year after year. This is expected to continue rising as the Big City Plan endures to take effect.
Considering key aspects, it is no doubt that Birmingham has become a major economic powerhouse, making this a worthy place to invest.
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