Wolverhampton is an area we’ve been watching for some time now. Property prices in the West Midlands don’t carry the premium many areas in the southeast do, nearby Birmingham provides a large, growing economic base and when we heard that house prices in Wolverhampton are growing even faster than Birmingham we started to research seriously.
Wolverhampton is at the heart of a densely populated area. 582,000 people are 20 minutes’ drive from the centre, and three million live within just 20 miles. It attracts over a million leisure visitors and its central shopping area draws 30 million visitors each year.
The overall sold property prices in Wolverhampton in the year until October 2015 were up by a healthy 7% on the previous twelve months. However prices here are still significantly lower than the average for the West Midlands over the same period by 20.6%. The low prices should encourage buy-to-let investors to get in early before the regeneration takes effect.
Regeneration projects in 2015
The city is undergoing a large scale transformation with over £1 billion of public and private investment. This includes a £65m restoration of a historic buiding into a superstore with 34,000 sq ft of office and community space. It’s a great time to buy property before prices take off.
Some 2,000 new homes have planning consent or are under construction to provide accommodation for the growing workforce encouraged by significant private investment.
A £60m Sainsbury’s has recently opened in the city centre with 2 more major supermarkets in development.
The video above shows all the regeneration that happened in Wolverhampton in 2015.
Investment in i54 Business Park
The i54 business park, home to Jaguar Land Rover, is boosting the region’s economy.
Following the demise of Wolverhampton’s industrial base, the service sector has become by far and away dominant since the turn of the century, accounting for nearly 80% of total employment.
Whilst employment growth in Wolverhampton has been sluggish over the last decade, the attraction of major employers from a variety of industries has engendered a sharp increase in the skill base of the local workforce.
A taste of Wolverhampton’s future came in November 2015. The nearby i54 business park has been steadily attracting blue chip business and Jaguar Land Rover has now extended its operations there with a huge £450m investment into its engineering plant.
With all this investment it should come as no surprise that Wolverhampton was recently ranked as one of the top ten fastest-growing areas of the UK for Gross Value Added (GVA) – the value of goods and services it produces.
Head of Investment for Wolverhampton Council, Richard Nicklin, recently spoke of a bright future for the city, revealing over £800m of investment to build on previous and ongoing initiatives. That brings the total investment in Wolverhampton to an impressive £1 billion.
Part of the city’s investment strategy is to attract more blue chip business to the area through a series of improvements to connectivity and infrastructure.
Public initiatives that have been recently completed or are in the advanced stages of planning include a new junction for the city from the M54 motorway, a £20m Metro tram extension to complement the 2011 bus station, and the refurbishment of the Civic Hall.
£25m Wolverhampton Interchange
A new bus station at The Interchange is part of the initial £22.6 million investment in a strategic transport hub, a new city centre gateway with space for commercial development. A modern and efficient railway station and proposals for a tram service that will further enhance local and regional transport links and allow greater integration between bus, tram and rail are also underway at the interchange.
The University of Wolverhampton has up to 23,000 students in the city centre, Walsall and Telford. The University also operates a Health Education Centre for student nurses in Burton-upon-Trent.
In May 2015, £250 million of investment in the university was announced to boost job opportunities for students to be the trailblazer for enhancing the Black Country economy. Money is being spent on a host of building projects – including the £65m Springfield Brewery construction college – as well as big investment in staff and research.
Stewart Towe, chair of the Black Country LEP said: “The University of Wolverhampton’s £250m investment plan is a vote of confidence in the Black Country’s economic future.”
Recently the university has expanded worldwide and has regional offices in China, Malaysia, Oman, Nigeria and Cyprus, with a campus in Mauritius. Strong business links have been formed with India, while the university even has its own racing car – a Renault Formula One car – which engineering students prepare for races. The flagship six-storey business school in Molineux Street is designed to reflect its growing business reputation.