Birmingham a magnet for Londoners as city avoids house price boom

CPBig Andrew Bryant 2

Birmingham could be about to witness the start of an influx of workers from London as surging house prices and the prospect of HS2 concentrates minds.

That is the prediction of Andrew Bryant, sales and lettings manager at property agents CPBigwood.

He said: “High speed rail will slash commuting times to the capital and make it much more realistic for people to live in Birmingham and work in London.

“Whether that is a good thing depends on your point of view, but it would represent a significant injection of money, the Birmingham housing market would get a boost and the dynamics of the city would change.”

At present, while Birmingham house prices are rising steadily, there has been no boom.

According to property analysts Hometrack, Birmingham property prices are up 4.7 per cent in the last year but are still 2.7 per cent below their 2007 peak.

“Job availability, low interest rates and ongoing economic growth are bolstering the market,” noted Mr Bryant.

“However London has gone crazy and it is likely that more and more people will find they cannot afford to live in the capital and so decide to move elsewhere in the UK.

“It has been suggested that a tipping point may have been reached. The average price of a house in London is now £437,700, a record of more than 12 times average earnings, having increased by ten per cent over the past year. It also means that the gap between house prices in London and those in other major cities is at its widest for 20 years.

“The analysis found that someone could buy around four homes in Glasgow, or three in Manchester, or two in Bristol, for the price of just one in London. In Birmingham the average price of a house is £134,800.”

Meanwhile the National Association of Estate Agents reported that the supply of homes for sale across the UK plunged to an 11-year low in August. This is partly down to a lack of new homes

In total, the National House Building Council registered 145,174 new homes across the whole of 2014, well below the 250,000 experts say need to be built every year.

“The supply shortage is a phenomenon we have been warning about for months,” said Mr Bryant.

“Already desirable areas like Harborne are being identified as hot spots and that will almost certainly spread to other parts of Birmingham. Londoners will see major opportunities at prices they could only dream of compared with the capital – ‘bargains galore’ as they would see it

“And if that drift of people out of London turns into a flood as HS2 nears then Birmingham will rapidly build on the new jobs, new retail and new regeneration which is already transforming the city.”

The Department for Transport says HS2 will cut Birmingham-London journey times from 1hr 21min to 49min.

“Birmingham is looking at a very exciting and positive future,” said Mr Bryant.


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