2023 will be looked backward as a year that promised so much but delivered only a portion of its potential.
Residential lettings is continuing to cause angst to those applicants looking, in a market with a limited supply. Hardening prices, and plenty of competition from others viewing, are likely to continue into the New Year. We have recorded a record year helped by winning more instructions & managing a larger portfolio of stock. Our stable accounts and management team have contributed to our boosted reputation. The sales team have reported a turbulent year but without the hit of collapsing prices reported by some in the mainstream media. Sales continue to be frustrated in the City Core by cladding issues, in the shadow of the Grenfell fire of June 2017 with some 40% of Birmingham’s leading apartment blocks still awaiting their EWS1 sign off & being largely unable to finance by mainstream mortgages. At the same time the period a sale sits with the lawyers has extended further, with a typical sale now taking five months or longer to be concluded.
The under-offer period is the greatest single frustration to everyone involved with sales. The combination of increasing Government demands by lawyers from apartment block Managing Agents and the steer by many legal firms away from conveyancing with less staff employed in those departments. A frustration highlight of the year happened in the past month where a solicitor advised her client to step away from buying an apartment four months after agreeing terms, advising that her client should withdraw & be encouraged to only buy a freehold going forward. This is because the hurdles with acquiring a leasehold on route to the purchase had become just too high. Fortunately for many others the attraction of City life overrides the journey towards acquisition. Certainly, going forward the return of a version of the Home Information Pack for vendors is a distinct possibility to help speed up the process.
The overall volume of sales in the year was disappointing being some 65% of the last two-year average. Our statistics show our average sale price however being 15% above our two previous year median with the end of year pipeline of sales being progressed being the strongest we have seen for over three years, which beckons well for the coming twelve months.
The Birmingham City Core is increasingly home to a wider diverse audience from students & mature students, working professionals looking for convenience, those looking for a pied a terre including downsizers wanting the freedom of lock up & leave opportunity which apartment life invariably offers. Maturing locations within the City Core such as the Jewellery Quarter is assisting pushing positive gentrification of the fringes as the values encourage speculative development in locations not considered in previous years. This includes the improvement of housing stock in some locations from multiple occupation back into single dwellings.
Our tip for gentrification in 2024 is the area immediately surrounding the Icknield Port Loop , already bolstered by the new build started by Urban Splash, plus the continuing improvement running through China Town out beyond the ring road toward Stirchley. This again is bolstered by the success of the new build around Hurst Street Belgrave Middleway and Sherlock Street. Whilst Digbeth overall continues to improve , there are plenty of site starts due in 2024 & the area will inevitably lift we feel in 2025-6 as these new structures emerge. This will include the construction of Smithfield, the new commercial & employment hub for the area and the relocation of the BBC into its new premises.
2024 is our twentieth trading year and our focus on the City Centre continues. The positive improvements we have witnessed, notwithstanding the scorn of some at the time, highlight how urban living has helped transform the City. This determined and bold revival over the last 20 years has increased City-centre living, improved vibrant cultural offers and strengthened underlying business growth. More and more people want to live and work in the core and the effects of many businesses and workers clustering together is boosting the City’s performance on the global stage.
Fully Managed Letting Service
The Maguire Jackson Fully Managed Property Service Letting is fundamental to residential lettings in Birmingham and is designed to remove the hassles involved with maintaining a tenanted property. This provides you with the additional convenience and reassurance that all maintenance and administration in relation to your apartments or flats to rent in Birmingham will be dealt with professionally on your behalf.Read More