News May 24, 2019
     

The Birmingham year ahead

This forthcoming year ahead promises undoubted uncertainty in abundance early in the year, yet surprisingly increased opportunities for those taking a medium or longer term view on Birmingham, being a key UK City for the future. 

Whilst the current Brexit chaos will resolve itself positively or otherwise in the months ahead, the reality is that some vendors are already starting to make decisions based on the anticipated result. We therefore expect to see more properties becoming available in the coming weeks , both as development opportunities and individually. We also expect to see some more flexibility on the asking prices as vendors realise that they can probably transfer their receipted monies into other properties in the knowledge that other sellers will probably be taking a similar view. We are though not anticipating a slump in prices but we can see prices stabilizing as development & independent vendors look to secure those buyers who are in a position to move. 

One of the features of this coming year will be the increased number of new build flats completing plus the launch marketing of stock which is within sight of completion within this year or very early next. For buyers frustrated by the lack of available property through the last twelve months this has to be good news. There undoubtedly will continue to be shortage of overall stock in the Jewellery Quarter and the reasoning is the continuing planning restrictions which includes the height limit of four stories throughout. Elsewhere, being in the Convention Quarter, City Core & Digbeth, things are going to be easier but the depressed pound might bring in more competitive overseas buyers , particularly from the Far East. Many of whom may have already successfully invested in both Manchester or Liverpool & been rewarded with good capital growth over recent years. 

Whilst the City seems awash with construction, several of the larger Birmingham City Centre new blocks underway have been bought in their entirety off plan by London based investment funds who have been keen to take advantage of the institutional value of long term rented apartments for City professionals. This absorption of stock plus the early off plan investment sales, made both locally & overseas, will mean an increased supply but the possibly the not the over supply of new build apartments, talked about by some last year regarding fast regenerating Digbeth. 

Rental prices will undoubtedly stabilise this coming year as the new stock coming forward will have an impact the overall market. The choice for tenants is increasing. More importantly for the first time many years existing tenants will have increasing amounts of new stock to temp them and this could impact the length of average tenancies across the city. The banning of agency fees for tenants from April will also further encourage moving. For landlords of existing stock the quality of their apartments needs to be upheld. Secondary poorly maintained houses & flats will suffer in this new climate as tenants will now move because they have no financial hurdle to hold them. 

It is going to be a busy year. Pricing whether for rentals or sales alongside good advice is going to be more important than ever. Please do call.

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