The UK's 'Second City' has undergone extensive regeneration over past years with more yet to come. The urban sprawl at its centre means it's as popular as ever with big industry outside of London and represents a destination for professionals of all kinds

Jamie Carter

Partner, Birmingham office jamie.carter@knightfrank.com

Birmingham’s reputation as “the workshop of the world” has been forged over the past 200 years, being on the literal coalface of Britain’s Industrial Revolution.

Birmingham is not only the UK’s largest city outside London, but also one of the country’s biggest financial centres. The relocation of firms such as Deutsche Bank and HSBC to the city means there is growing affluence as the number of professionals working in finance and associated sectors increases. These are expected to grow further in the coming years.

The diversity of the city’s economy is underscored by its reputation as a hub for creative industries, too, and it is among the UK’s fastest growing centres for digital media ventures.

Birmingham has also ranked as one the most popular destinations for those heading out of London in 2018, ahead of cities such as Manchester, Leeds and Bristol.

Indeed, the cultural diversity and strong local infrastructure means a sense of excitement has followed the extensive regeneration of parts of the city, and the potential it brings for the city’s inhabitants. As a result, buyers are becoming younger and are placing more faith in city-centre living, something the data keenly reflects.

According to analysis of Land Registry Data, the number of transactions in Birmingahm and its surrounding markets with a value above £500,000 reached a record high over 12 months to August 2019.

There is positivity in the data for apartments in the city and family homes in surburbia. A lack of stock in surburbia means that we expect prices to hold for the time being.

We are dealing with both upsizers and downsizers when it comes to family homes; successful young professionals in the tech and finance sectors; and medical staff in the city.

Birmingham in numbers

The average price of a property sold by Knight Frank in Birmingham (2019)


How old are buyers in Birmingham?

20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70+

Retail options within the city make Birmingham a shoppers' paradise.

With The Bullring, Mailbox and Grand Central, Birmingham has over 1,000 shops within a one-mile radius of the city centre, including a John Lewis, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, House of Fraser and Debenhams. No wonder it is among the top three places to shop in the UK.

Meanwhile, it's rapidly becoming a destination for out-of-town shoppers and day-trippers, too, thanks to speedy rail connections to London ­Euston, which can be reached in as little as an hour and 15 minutes from Birmingham New Street, while the surrounding M62 connects much of the city with the rest of the UK.

Who lives here?

Families and young professionals are typical demographies living in Birmingham. Forecasts show that the city is set for a workforce revolution, however, as more people come to seek work in emerging sectors.

East Midlands Internationally London South East West Midlands

Where do buyers come from?

What are Knight Frank buyers' professions?

• City/Finance




Where do buyers come from?

• East Midlands Internationally London South East West Midlands

What are Knight Frank buyers' professions?

City/Finance Entrepreneur

Other Professional

Green space is plentiful for residents on the doorsteps of Birmingham's suburbs.

Sutton Park is a large urban park located in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, West Midlands, England. Most of the park is a National Nature Reserve; large parts are also a Scheduled Ancient Monument. Sutton Park is one of the largest urban parks in the United Kingdom.

Edgbaston Reservoir is surrounded by woodland and grassland and supports a variety of birds, newts and bats. In addition to supplying water to the canals, the reservoir is used for leisure activities including angling, sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, kayaking and rowing.

Aston Park, once a larger 934-acre deer park, is sandwiched between Villa Park and the Aston Expressway. The landscape is wonderfully mature and the gardens have been registered on the Historic Parks Register. Aston Hall is one of the best examples of Jacobean architecture. The Grade I listed building was built between 1618 and 1635 for Sir Thomas Holte and was home to James Watt Junior from 1817-1848.

Birmingham's higher education sector could hold the key to unlocking the potential of the UK's future workforces.

Birmingham’s five universities, and the higher education establishments in the wider Midlands area, are responsible for producing around 97,000 graduates per year. Over 5,000 overseas students are enrolled at the University of Birmingham alone. This means there is the potential to tap an exceptional pool of highly qualified, young and motivated talent.

Both state and independent schooling surrounding the city is excellent, and includes the Bishop Vesey's Grammar School for Boys, King Edward VI Aston School, and King Edward VI Five Ways School among others.

What can you get for your money in Birmingham?

Chester Road, Sutton Coldfield, B73

Guide Price: £650,000

5 Bedrooms | 1 Bathroom | 3 Reception rooms


Woodside, Solihull, B91

Guide Price: £1,100,000

4 Bedrooms | 4 Bathrooms | 4 Reception rooms


Meriden, Solihull, CV7

Guide Price: £1,800,000

5 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms | 3 Reception rooms


All property has been sold by Knight Frank within the past 12 months. The guide prices shown are representative of their appraised pricing and not their final sale price.

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