This month we will continue our two part report on the Birmingham market with a more detailed look at some of the property sub-markets within the city. We will look at the city living, student, Housing Benefit/LHA and suburban markets and also take in some 'from-the-coalface' insight from professionals who work in those markets.
City Centre Residential
As with many other regional cities, Birmingham developed a thriving city living residential scene in the late-90s and early part of this century, with a large number of industrial conversions and new-build apartment developments. New projects slowed to almost nothing during the recession and anecdotal evidence suggested that city centre apartments had become difficult to let alongside claims that the market had become saturated.
However, there is now some suggestion that this market could be moving once again. City centre letting agents we have consulted report particularly strong demand for centrally located one bedroom apartments. According to a late-2013 report from Birmingham-based CBRE there is now renewed interest from developers - they say that at least six major city centre residential sites are back in the pipeline to be built after a five year postponement.
Katie Martin, senior lettings manager at Accord Lets, tells us about demand trends at the moment: "In Birmingham city centre, the demand is high for rental properties that are well presented, reasonably priced and within close proximity to transport links, like Birmingham New Street train station. There is definitely a shortage of good quality properties to rent and currently an increasing number of tenants looking for rental accommodation in the city centre.