Birmingham, located right in the centre of the UK, is a city on the rise thanks to increased attention from the rest of the nation thanks to things like the Commonwealth Games and popular culture such as the TV show Peaky Blinders. No longer is it seen simply as the birthplace of the Balti curry or even worse, overlooked entirely.
In fact, for many people, Birmingham is an ideal place to live and invest in, and thanks to its relatively affordable housing market, and is increasingly sought-after by first time buyers who more often than not have been priced out of more expensive areas – whether that is elsewhere in the Midlands or beyond.
Is it worth buying a house in Birmingham?
Birmingham is a city that appeals to people right across the spectrum. It’s got great music venues, fabulous nightlife, top restaurants, great schools and of course plenty of universities to choose from. But it also has what most other places in the UK do not have – affordable housing.
In some regions of the UK, notably London, finding places to live where average wages match the required mortgage for property ownership is quite challenging.
However, when it comes to Birmingham and the encompassing West Midlands, a majority of first-time homebuyers will find that quadrupling their average salary might suffice to enter the market.
A typical starter home (comprising two to three bedrooms) in Birmingham is priced at £179,216, and the expected down payment for a deposit is around £26,882. Given its ongoing urban development, top-notch transportation facilities like the West Midlands Metro, retail hubs, and abundant housing offerings, Birmingham stands out as an attractive choice for first-time homeowners.
What are the benefits of living in Birmingham?
From a purely economical point of view, Birmingham’s property values are projected to outpace all other UK cities in the coming half-decade, marking it as a prime choice for first-time buyers, as the chances are they’ll increase in value by the time you look to sell and move into a bigger place. So now is a good time to buy a house for sure if you can afford too. In fact, Birmingham property values are anticipated to climb approximately 4.9% annually and the yearly rise in rental rates is estimated at 2.8%.
However looking beyond housing price projections, there are plenty of benefits of living in Birmingham.
Birmingham boasts some of the best schools in the country, with schools under the King Edward VI Foundation leading the way. King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys, ranking 10th nationally and recognized as Birmingham’s top school, has a staggering 87.1% of its students achieving A-level grades A*-B. Its sister school, King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls, is not far behind.
You won’t be short of things to do with the kids when schools are out, too. You can discover the magic of chocolate-making in Bournville, the heart of Cadbury’s history. Enjoy the Cadabra ride featuring the famous drumming gorilla, take a virtual dip in a Cadbury Dairy Milk lake, and soar in a Cadbury Creme Egg airship.
For adventure lovers, The Bear Grylls Adventure located at the National Exhibition Centre, boasts eleven exhilarating experiences. Challenge yourself with activities like indoor climbing, axe throwing, or even a shark dive. Perfect for adventurous families looking to try something new!
After hours, Birmingham comes even more alive, with the city brimming with age-old pubs, lively bars, and dynamic nightclubs. Birmingham’s nightlife is famous for its student events and elite clubbing experiences, ensuring entertainment that lasts until the early hours.
Where is the best place to live for first time buyers in Birmingham?
If you like what you see so far from Birmingham, you are probably wondering where the best places to buy are in the city. Here are a few standouts:
Longbridge & Rubery
Situated adjacent to each other, Longbridge and the charming village of Rubery are prime locations for new homeowners in Birmingham with the average home in Longbridge priced at £200k. Thanks to a £1 billion redevelopment, local services and amenities have been improved which makes them super attractive to first time buyers.
Back in 2015, Mosely earned the distinction from the Sunday Times as the UK’s best living place thanks to its small village vibe, numerous parks and great schools. Expect to invest around £330k for an average property here, with distinct prices for different housing types, so shop around to find the best option for you.
A mere four miles southward from the city’s heart, King’s Heath is catching the attention of young professionals and newcomers. The locale prides itself on its local businesses and beautifully maintained parks like Highbury Park and King’s Heath Park. Semis usually go for around the £275k mark.
An ideal fit for those wishing to walk to the Bull Ring Shopping Centre within 30 minutes. Edgbaston is historically rich and known for its cricket grounds, Georgian designs, and scenic gardens. With the city’s heartbeat just moments away, you get the best of both worlds here. Property values differ widely, with flats on the market for around £215k, to detached houses fetching as much as £800k+.
Where are the best places to live for commuters in Birmingham?
Birmingham’s outskirts cater to those seeking tranquillity and space, with numerous commuter-friendly towns accessible via public transport.
- Solihull, a historical and affluent market town, is just 12 minutes away and has an average house price of £301,197 and is a very popular place for people to live when commuting from Birmingham.
- Leamington Spa, a serene retreat 35 minutes from Birmingham, boasts an average home value of £397,646.
- Lichfield, Dudley, and Tamworth, with respective house averages of £356,860, £200,364, and £243,696, provide a mix of affordability, history, and recreational amenities. Each offers unique attractions, from Lichfield’s green expanses and educational institutions, Dudley’s iconic castle, to Tamworth’s indoor ski slope.
All these towns present a blend of convenience and charm for commuters.
What is the safest area to live in Birmingham?
Recent crime statistics from the West Midlands Police provide insights into Birmingham’s safety profile, a key factor for first time buyers, especially those with young children.
Between July 2022 and June 2023, Birmingham’s bustling city centre noted the most considerable crime activity, with 16,756 reported incidents, dwarfing other parts of the city.
However, closely adjacent to the central area are pockets boasting low crime rates. Sutton New Hall, Sutton Vesey, and Sutton Four Oaks in Sutton Coldfield, as well as the Jewellery Quarter, are among the safest havens, each recording fewer than 2,000 incidents in the year.
What is the first home buyer scheme in Birmingham?
First Homes is a government initiative in England, designed to assist first-time homebuyers. Homes under this scheme come with a 30% markdown from the market value. These discounted properties are primarily new builds, with a post-discount cap of £250,000. A unique aspect is the perpetuity of the discount; it carries forward with each subsequent sale to benefit future first-time buyers.
To be eligible:
- All buyers (if multiple) should be first-timers.
- Their combined household income shouldn’t surpass £80,000 yearly.
- Local eligibility criteria, like a connection to the area or key worker status, may also apply, as determined by the local authority.
- Buyers should secure a mortgage covering a minimum of 50% of the discounted value.
- A minimum deposit of 5% of the discounted price is mandatory.
- The acquired property should be the buyers’ sole residence.
Is the first home scheme worth it?
The First Homes scheme offers considerable advantages for first-time homebuyers, especially with the significant 30% discount on market value. Of course, it is only worth it if you meet the criteria and if you have no other ways to get on the property ladder. With house prices the way they are in Birmingham and the country, any help to own your own home should be investigated at the very least! At We Buy Any Home, we know that Birmingham properties are in high demand, but like everywhere actually selling a home is costly and time-consuming. This is why many people are turning to us as cash house buyers to buy their homes from them, as we offer significant advantages to other high street agents. We pay all legal fees and give you an offer within 24 hours, which although may be below market value will guarantee you a sale in a matter of weeks rather than months. Give us a call today if you have Birmingham property you want to shift, and we’ll do the rest.