Birmingham building homes too slowly

It’s taking too long for work to start on housebuilding projects in Birmingham after planning permissions have been granted,  according to an estate agent in the city.

Davidson Estates said other cities like London and Manchester are doing a far better job of building homes at pace.

Ben Davidson, managing director of Davidson Estates, said: “The demand for new homes, whether apartments or houses, is there, and we can sell what is available, but therein lies the problem.

“Too many sites are lying fallow and given that it can take three years until someone can move into a new development, there are not enough new properties in the pipeline.”

JLL expects property values to rise by an average of 4.9% every year for the next five years, despite the report predicting that the UK housing market will cool nationally.

However the government’s housebuilding target of 1.5 million homes over the next five years could be missed by as much as one third – 500,000 homes.

Jon Smith, new homes sales and investment consultant at Davidson Estates, said interest in Birmingham is being driven developments including the Commonwealth Games in 2022, and relocations and investments into the city such as the move by HMRC which is expected to bring 6,300 high earning jobs.

Another factor is HS2, which shortens the travel time from London to 52 minutes.

Smith said: “This is all good news for the Birmingham developments that are underway at present, and we are seeing keen interest in everything that is currently available.”

He cited Digbeth One 2 which is over 50% sold already. Completed this year by St Modwen Homes, out of 194 properties there are only 94 remaining, including one bedroom and two bedroom apartments, plus a single three bedroom penthouse apartment, available at £439,000.

Other Birmingham developments currently available include Broadway Residences by Seven Capital on Broad Street, Apex Lofts in Digbeth, and developers Elevate Property Group are bringing Priory House, Heaton House and Price Street developments to the market next year.

Ben Davidson feels the growing number of apartments and houses coming on to the market is fuelling a surge in city living.

He added: “While the pandemic clearly slowed down the current developments both underway and in the pipeline, the tap has now been turned back on, and the focus is very much on Birmingham as a prime place to live and work.

“It is not just local buyers who are snapping up what is currently available on the market, we are also seeing a growing number of investors from places like Hong Kong who are buying in the city.”

To that end, Davidson Estates has signed up to an international property sales platform designed to place new UK property developments firmly on the world stage,

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