Birmingham – where big businesses and SMEs are driving property investment opportunity

Brett Alegre-Wood
April 26, 2019

Economic energy is energising property investment opportunity in Birmingham

When investing in property, one factor that is fundamental to success is its local economy. Professional property investors know that the strength, depth and breadth of an area’s economy is a powerful determinant to the strength of its property market. More jobs attract more people into an area, and that increases demand for housing. When we conduct our research and due diligence in our search for the best places to invest in property UK, local economic factors are high on our list.

Its local economy is one of the reasons we love Birmingham. And we’re not the only ones – big businesses, SMEs and start-ups love Birmingham, too.

Global businesses love Birmingham

Global businesses are choosing Birmingham for many reasons, including its young, well-educated population and a local authority ‘Big City Plan’ that puts economic growth at the heart of its long-term strategy (and creating more than 50,000 new city centre jobs over the next 20 years).

Big companies including HSBC, Deutsche Bank and PwC have located or relocated here, bringing thousands of jobs into the city. They are unlikely to be the last. Increasingly, companies based in London are casting their eyes over to the UK’s second city. The exodus of companies from London may gather pace the nearer we come to HS2 services running (with the journey time between the two cities slashed to less than 50 minutes). The advance in technology and online speed is also a factor in making regional cities like Birmingham more attractive than London, where costs are much higher.

Birmingham’s central location, linked to the rest of the UK by an extensive road and rail network and to the rest of the world via Birmingham Airport, is a further attraction for big businesses that have extensive branch networks, or that supply goods across the UK.

Small businesses flourish in Birmingham

It may not surprise you to learn that London is the UK’s number one city for business start-ups. It is, after all, the UK’s largest city. It may not surprise you that Birmingham is second to London in the number of companies starting. What may surprise you is that Birmingham is the UK’s most entrepreneurial city, with a far higher start-up to population ratio than any other UK city in 2017, including London.

This level of growth in start-ups is likely to be a very important factor in Birmingham’s economic growth in the future. Big businesses may grab all the headlines – creating 1,000 new jobs or more in one hit is big news, after all – but SMEs are the driver of new jobs in the UK. According to a repost from Santander, published in November 2018, SMEs create three times the number of new jobs created by big businesses. Their research showed that between 2013 and 2017:

  • Big businesses added 650,000 jobs to the UK economy
  • SMEs (companies employing fewer than 250 people) added 1.7 million

Managing director of Santander Business commented, “While there are many great roles available working for large companies across the UK, SMEs remain the life blood of the UK economy.

The reasons Birmingham is so entrepreneurial and attracts so many SMEs and start-ups mirror the reasons why big businesses love the city: great transport links, a supportive local authority, access to a large, well-educated and young workforce, and investment in infrastructure.

Big and small businesses provide the energy behind investment potential

For big businesses, the pull of Birmingham is difficult to dispute. It’s more affordable than London, has fantastic facilities, and offers residents an amazing lifestyle – the shopping and leisure options in Birmingham here are incredible.

It is the host of the 2022 Commonwealth Games – won at least in part because of its strength of infrastructure and transport connections, and its appeal as a modern city.

The population is young and diverse, well-educated and entrepreneurial – an ideal demographic to support the UK’s largest business, financial and professional services sector outside of London. With HS2 approaching, it is possible that Birmingham could become London’s next commuter town, too.

It’s time to invest in Birmingham property

There is a real feeling of positivity around Birmingham. Inward investment is flowing, and new business start-ups are flourishing. The strength and diversity of Birmingham’s local economy is just one of the eight reasons investors are snapping up Birmingham property, but it is extremely compelling. The opportunity to benefit from a strong and growing economy, and the young professionals who will be looking for rental property, is one that property investors should not miss.

To find out more and receive an in-depth appraisal of the best property investment opportunities in Birmingham, get in touch with Gladfish today.

Live with passion

Brett Alegre-Wood


Birmingham Property Investment

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