There has been much property market talk in recent months about the surge in current UK house prices, about average house prices climbing with the strongest growth since 2016. The national statistics are indeed quite startling : a 10.2% current average price growth, a 45 day average time to find a buyer record Rightmove & April recorded sales up 180% on last year. The average UK new home is now asking £333500, again another price record.
For those in this & other City cores across the UK the market ride over the Covid period has not been as easy. Demand undoubtedly faltered as many decision makers stayed away. Overall the market however stayed positive and we recorded more neighbourhood moves than ever before as local buyers moved to larger apartments, those with terraces or indeed with better views. Putting down roots is positive in every neighbourhood community & the City core has undoubtedly benefits. The post Grenfell cladding reports have hampered many apartment sales as lenders insisted upon sight of the certificates. Whilst the overall hive of sales activity recorded in the suburbs hasn’t been reflected in the much quieter City streets there is now a quiet energy returning. Last year the overall West Midlands prices moved 6-7% yet in the City core the prices remained largely stable to perhaps 3% growth. This might now change.
The City is starting to reopen. The EWS1 reports are nearly through & some blocks, such as Islington Gates in the Jewellery Quarter are already having extensive external works underway. The Maguire Jackson valuation team anticipate that as much as 40% more properties might be coming back into the market this autumn as potential vendors, who have received valuations over the past year, are being advised that they can now positively sell. Office workers are returning and with many firms are now growing Birmingham as a location to live once again is I sense to be back in vogue. The covid dream of working from the garden shed & having a work life comprising Zoom or other interactions with your colleagues and clients whilst possible the reality is that many firms have recognised that the actual interaction of staff members is more productive plus more creative. Many staff members too acknowledge that for social balance the office has a stronger attraction that they originally believed.
Our rental team are already, this early summer recording high demand and this coupled with the additional demand for Commonwealth Games related staff the rental market is expecting prices to harden over the coming months as the surplus stock gets absorbed.
There are many reasons to be positive. The recent announcement by Goldman Sachs to take 18,000ft of offices in Colmore Row as starter to growing a proper regional presence is undoubted being seen as a precursor to other leading financial institutions relocating or establishing similar hub offices here . These firms recognise the young skilled audience located in Birmingham & the ongoing attraction of the City retaining a large number of students based here. Birmingham too is undoubtedly starting to look & feel good as a City. The extensive work underway around the Library , Centenary Square & Paradise Circus plus the anticipated work in & around the HS2 station in Curzon Street is pushing the City forward. The Commonwealth Games next summer & the clean air decision too, whilst frustrating for some car drivers, is helping those who live here as the first Covid shutdown clearly demonstrated to existing residents what the difference in air quality might actually be possible long term.
We anticipate Birmingham City Core will soon be making more headlines as it re-emerges & quickly grows from the shut down.