Far from the industrial city of the past, Birmingham is fast becoming one of Britain’s most popular cities. The five universities, great shopping, buzzing nightlife, excellent schools and both national and international transport links (90% of the UK is within 4 hours of Birmingham) are just some of the reasons that Birmingham is growing in popularity.
If you can afford to, buying in Birmingham might also be a pretty smart investment. The area around the Bullring and New Street Station is undergoing continual development and the completion of HS2 will likely push property prices up further.
But where should you buy? Birmingham is the second largest city in the United Kingdom and the largest city in the West Midlands, so deciding where to look can be overwhelming. Here are our top 5 places to buy in Birmingham.
If you’ve got a family, Moseley could be a good choice for you. Just 20 minutes from the centre of Birmingham by bus, this suburb has everything you need and more. It has a private 11-acre park (an annual membership is just £40, or you can visit for one day for free) to while away the weekend with the kids, but there’s plenty for adults too – an assortment of pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants line the streets and there are a number of music festivals in the summer. But it still maintains a village feel – there’s a farmers market on the last Saturday of every month and residents are proud of the sense of community. Moseley is home to several great schools, including a school for children on the Autistic Spectrum, and in 2015 it was crowned the Sunday Times Best Place to live. Provided you can afford it – the average price of a semi-detached property is £402,661 – Moseley could well become your new home.
With its abundance of affordable terraced houses, Erdington is a good option for those on a tight budget. You’ll find the majority of shops you need on Erdington High Street, and if you do need to head into central Birmingham you can be at the Bullring by public transport in 20 minutes, or less if you opt for a taxi. In terms of green space you can drive to Sutton Park, one of the largest urban parks in the UK, or you can visit the nearby Rookery Park for a stroll through the woodland, a game of tennis or to simply relax in the sun. In Erdington you could buy a terraced house for an average of £157,485, or a flat for an average of £101,141.
Recently named the Coolest Neighbourhood in Britain by the Sunday Times, Digbeth is a great option for the city-loving hipster. Known as an old industrial area, it’s now quickly becoming a vibrant, inner-city hub with plenty of art, music, independent shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. As the population of Digbeth steadily grows, new apartment blocks converted from old warehouses are appearing every year. Home to a cluster of creative businesses and street art festival like no other, it’s no wonder Digbeth is growing more and more popular. The average cost of property in Digbeth is £150,389 – an astonishing 19% increase on the year before, so get in there while you still can!
If you don’t want to feel you live right in the city centre then Edgbaston could be good for you, especially if you’re a sports fanatic. Much of the land is owned by the conservation-focussed Calthorpe Estate, so, despite being only a ten minute drive (or 30 minute walk) from the city centre, Edgbaston is home to tranquil gardens, old Georgian buildings and tree-lined streets. Edgbaston Cricket Ground and Edgbaston Priory Club are pull-factors of the area, and the area is famous for its family-friendly tennis venues. Edgbaston is home to brilliant schools and the University of Birmingham, and houses the first Michelin Stared restaurant in Birmingham, Simpsons, which is part of a diverse range of dining experiences in the suburb. The average house price in Edgbaston is £315,743, but detached houses average out at more than double that – so if you’re looking for a big property, Moseley might be a little more affordable.
If you’re looking for somewhere a bit greener and can really afford to splash the cash, Sutton Coldfield could be for you. There’s something there for everyone – a variety of golf courses and the largest leisure centre in Birmingham to satisfy a sports enthusiast, theatres and cinemas for those looking for evening entertainment, and a selection of major high street retailers mixed with independent shops for the avid shopper. Perhaps the biggest pull-factor is Sutton Park, the seventh largest urban park in Europe and home to woodland trails, several lakes and a number of restaurants. If all of this isn’t enough, the centre of Birmingham is just a 30 minute train ride away. But all this comes at a price – the average cost of a detached house is nearly £500,000.
With one of the largest shopping centres in the UK, the largest regional library in Europe, and more canals than Venice, Birmingham has plenty to offer to everyone. But with so much variety, it’s important to think very carefully before you buy.
All house prices are from Rightmove and are correct as of July 2019.