Anyone living or investing in Birmingham can testify that the property market in the city is booming, with competition for properties to rent in Birmingham being especially tough. The Commonwealth Games’ have left a huge and lasting impact on the local economy, and more and more global businesses are relocating to the UK’s second city, leading to a huge increase in tenant demand across the city. As a result, many investors have set their sights on Birmingham for their next property as they seek to take advantage of the immensely buoyant rental market.
Whether you’re pondering expanding your existing portfolio, or simply wondering where the best place is to purchase your first investment property, it’s important to know precisely what features produce the best yields in the Birmingham rental market. In this piece, Centrick will be revealing the top four things your agent or valuation expert will be considering when it comes to setting your rent in Birmingham, so that you know precisely what to look for in your next investment, and what to focus on if you choose to refurbish your property.
Pricing Determinant One: Nearby Facilities
Property values are directly impacted by the amenities that are available in the local neighbourhood or within the development, with nearby facilities offering optimal convenience for tenants, which can encourage them to pay a premium rental price. Thankfully for investors and purchasers, Birmingham is a city bustling with green spaces, shops and travel networks that can add value to your buy-to-let investment.
Birmingham is superbly well-connected, with the city benefitting from regional and international travel networks that truly puts tenants at the heart of the action. Residents have the choice of the local bus, tram and rail network for their daily commute, with each of these travel options being routinely expanded. Suburbs such as Edgbaston and the Jewellery Quarter now benefit from having their own tram stations, with the line soon to be expanded across to Digbeth and even as far as Dudley, making it easier than ever to navigate through the West Midlands. The same can be said for the very well served bus network across Birmingham, which connects most, if not all, neighbourhoods across the wider city. For those wishing to travel further afield, Birmingham city centre is home to three major train stations: New Street, Snow Hill and Moor Street, which put residents within 80 minutes of London and connect the city to the rest of the UK. With smaller stations connecting to this wider network at University, Five Ways, Jewellery Quarter, Bourneville, Selly Oak and more, rental prices in these suburbs which are served by West Midlands Railway can fetch a premium.
Perhaps most exciting is the construction of the new Curzon Street HS2 station, which will slice travel times to the capital city to just 52 minutes, and will directly benefit nearby neighbourhoods in Digbeth and Southside. It is therefore anticipated that rental prices in these areas will soar as the station nears completion, alongside the construction of the huge Smithfield regeneration project, making these areas exceptional places to invest in but-to-let property.
Proximity to hospitals, dentists, GP surgeries and pharmacies is convenient for tenants, whilst also giving them peace of mind. Birmingham City Hospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Heartlands Hospital are spread across the city in order to serve the population effectively. What’s more, Birmingham Children’s Hospital is an important facility for families with children that have unique needs. With thousands of employees across multiple hospitals, rental prices in the immediate vicinity of these locations can be far higher. More premium destinations – namely Edgbaston – have access to private medical facilities at the Priory and Edgbaston Hospital, with these facilities helping to justify the suburb’s higher property prices.
Rental offerings close to higher education facilities are sure to be snapped up quickly by students, who will typically look for 12-month lets. Thankfully for investors in Edgbaston, Aston and Birmingham city centre, there are nearby university facilities that will likely push up demand for your properties, and therefore increase the amount you can request for your rent. The city is home to The University of Birmingham, University College Birmingham, Aston University, The University of Law, and many more popular facilities to educate Europe’s youngest major city. Families with younger children will be willing to pay a premium to benefit from proximity to the region’s abundance of public and private schools, many of which have an impressive reputation and cater to students with unique needs and different religions and cultures.
Birmingham’s Bullring remains one of the most popular shopping destinations in the country, and welcomes over 40 million visitors each year. The closer your rental units are to the city centre and its array of amenities, the more you will be able to charge your tenants. However, this isn’t to say that Birmingham neighbourhoods far from the Bullring do not offer their own impressive facilities: destinations such as the village-feel Harborne High Street, local Yardley Swan Shopping Centre, or even Merry Hill Shopping Centre, give locals access to necessary amenities without travelling into the city centre.
Pricing Determinant Two: Local Investment
Birmingham has welcomed an abundance of investment over the past few years, namely as a result of the Commonwealth Games, which has boosted local property prices significantly. The Games are predicted to boost local property prices by 15 per cent as the region becomes increasingly popular, which will impact the rental market as landlords can justify charging a premium price. What’s more, job opportunities in the city have increased by over one quarter in 2021 thanks to cross-sector investment, driving people from other cities – namely London with its relocation of Civil Service jobs – into Birmingham.
Local investment will also drive growth and job opportunities across Birmingham, which will make competition for rental accommodation far more fierce, allowing landlords to raise their prices across the city. This will be particularly noticeable in the city centre, where large conglomerates such as HSBC, PwC and Deutsche Bank have relocated. The same can be said for the local investment in Digbeth, namely the Smithfield Regeneration Plan and HS2, which will produce thousands of jobs and boost demand in the area. In short, purchasing a unit close to an important investment project or planned regeneration will certainly result in impressive long-term yields.
Pricing Determinant Three: Property Condition
Although we’ve established that the neighbourhood and environment surrounding your property is extremely important in determining property value, what’s inside counts too! This is why your estate agent will carry out a thorough valuation of your property and its associated outdoor space in order to give you an accurate assessment of your predicted yield, as well as provide you with any advice on how to boost the value of your rent in Birmingham before your unit officially comes onto the market.
One of the main things your agent will consider is who your property will be suitable for and how many inhabitants will be likely to move into it: more bedrooms and greater square footage indicates that more inhabitants could share the property, potentially boosting its rental value. This is especially true for HMO’s and shared accommodation that may be close to educational institutions such as the University of Birmingham or Aston University. Letting agents may also use additional information such as council tax bands and predicted energy bills to base their valuation upon as they will consider affordability for your target audience.
Pricing Determinant Four: What’s Included?
If you are listing a unit for rent in Birmingham that is part of a broader complex or development, your rental offering may come with exclusive access to a variety of additional amenities such as gyms, communal gardens, concierge services or on-site dry cleaners, among other features. This can justify a boost in the rental asking price of your property, as your unit will come with ultra-convenient features that make the living experience for tenants far more luxurious. You may also have to pay a premium service charge on your property, which should be reflected in your rental asking price.
Ready to list your property for rent in Birmingham?
The Birmingham property market is the perfect place to invest for portfolio landlords or first time buy-to-let investors thanks to its abundance of opportunity and growth. If you’re looking for a letting agent in Birmingham that provides free, no-obligation valuations, an award winning service and can generate exceptional results for your property portfolio, get in touch with our Lettings Team using the form below: