Birmingham is a major city and metropolitan borough in the Western Midlands. By population, it is the largest British city after London. Birmingham originally started out as a mid sized market town in the medieval era and grew to international fame during the industrial revolution when it was at the leading edge of much scientific and technological advancement. As far back as 1791, it had been called the first industrial town in the world. The most important driver of economic growth that the world has ever seen – the steam engine was invented in Birmingham. Today, Birmingham’s economy is driven by the service industry and it is a major international commercial hub.
The city is located in the center of Western Midlands on the Birmingham plateau. It is bordered on the south by the Lickey Hills, Clent hills and Walton hill. Most of the city was covered by the ancient forest of Arden and the city is still covered in Oak trees which appear to be hundreds of years old. Like much of Britain, Birmingham has a temperate maritime climate. Temperatures rarely go above 21 C in summers and can go as low as 1 C during winters.
Birmingham is the largest local authority area and city outside London with population close to 1.1 Mn in 2016. Racially, 57% of the population is white and Asians make up the second largest ethnic group in Birmingham at 26%.
Because of its central location, Birmingham is well connected to the major road, rail and air transport networks of UK. It is served by the M5, M6, M40 and M42 motorways and is home to the longest road bridge in the UK. The Birmingham airport is the seventh busiest in England and the Birmingham railway station is the busiest in England after London.
Property prices in Birmingham have risen sharply. The average home price jumped £10,000 in the last year alone and now stands at £169,000. Although this price rise put a dampener on the affordability of homes for first time buyers, fundamentals of the housing market remain strong and therefore buying a home in Birmingham still remains a great proposition if you identify the right areas to buy in.
Townhouses remain the most popular category of housing for Birmingham residents and they go for an average price of £144,000 for a two bedroom set. Semi detached properties are available starting from £160,000 and you can bargain hard to get a newly constructed independent property for the average price of £ 176,000. Flats on the other hand are a lot more affordable. They start at £120,000 and the average flat goes for £141,000.
Birmingham is also one of the few cities in UK where buying beats renting. You could save up to £97 each month by buying a two bedroom set in the city.
Birmingham’s real estate prices are driven by the city’s remodelling efforts and investment. An example is the new Birmingham street station which has recently reopened after a £ 600 Mn upgrade. The city is home to 33,000 businesses – the largest concentration of economic activity outside London. Add to this, the demographic data which makes Birmingham the youngest city in Europe with 40% of its population under 25, and you have the makings of the hottest property market outside London.