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Birmingham City Living: Even Inflation Can't Slow Growth

The Birmingham skyline, overlooking the cathedral and Broad Street.

Inflation may be here to stay, and interest rates are going through the roof, but Birmingham's reputation as the UK's city living boomtown is undiminished.

BNP Paribas Real Estate has been instructed by Regal Property to secure a build-to-rent forward funding investor for Birmingham’s 47-storey block at 90-97 Broad Street. The 525-apartment scheme has a gross development value of around £200M.

Subject to an S106 Agreement, planning permission is likely to be granted late this year, with a start on-site in early 2024. Completion is expected to follow in summer 2027.

The Regal scheme is not the only sign of resilience. Despite the difficult economic headwinds, this week saw the start on-site of the Beorma Quarter, a central Birmingham living scheme first mooted before the Great Financial Crisis.

Piling work has begun at the site close to Selfridges, Birmingham Live reported.

Regal Property's proposed tower

The Beorma scheme was first slated to begin on-site in 2009, and planning consent for the current scheme was granted in 2015. A 30-storey tower, along with two smaller blocks, is envisaged.

After a series of delays, Bisnow reported last summer that there was optimism that the 630K SF Beorma scheme could finally get moving.

A series of land acquisition issues, which appeared to be moving to resolution, promised to unlock progress for Salhia Investments, the Kuwaiti business controlling the site through its Jersey-based subsidiary, Salhia International Investments Ltd., which owns another company called Ingleby (1733) Ltd.

In April 2021 it was reported that a dispute over the 2.3-acre plot between Ingleby and other landowners had slowed site assembly. Lengthy negotiations had failed to reach an agreement over a charity’s premises in Moat Lane. A Polish supermarket was also still holding out.

The Beorma move comes as Birmingham City Council played its part in maintaining momentum for the city. Next week's meeting of the city's ruling cabinet is expected to approve the appointment of Berkeley Homes subsidiary St. Joseph Homes as development partner for the £2.2B regeneration of the 144-acre Ladywood Estate with around 7,000 new sustainable homes. The scheme is expected to take 20 years to complete.

Earlier this spring, JLL awarded Birmingham first place in the UK build-to-rent market, saying the city attracted more investment than any other outside London in 2022. Birmingham claimed £380M in BTR investment, while second-place Liverpool garnered £250M. The attraction for investors was average rental growth of 18%.