The region’s property market is bouncing back from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, according to new research.
A report by property consultancy Avison Young said the West Midlands secured the largest property deal outside London in quarter two this year when IM Properties sold Blythe Valley Park in Solihull for £170 million to Singaporean investor Frasers Property.
During the second quarter, 203,499 sq ft of office space in Birmingham city centre was also taken up, four times that of the first quarter and 12 per cent higher than its ten-year average.
Nationally, take up was 23 per cent below its ten-year average in quarter two.
Birmingham and Manchester are the top two cities for office market investment volumes over the last 12 months, according to the report, accounting for £572 million and £430 million respectively.
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The ‘Big Nine’ report is published every three months by Avison Young and summarises activity in the property sector across nine major UK city regions.
Carl Potter, managing director of the Birmingham office at the agency, said: “As predicted, the fruits of the uptick in enquiries seen at the end of quarter one are starting to appear, with Birmingham’s office market dramatically improving in quarter two.
“Confidence is returning at pace, evidenced by deals like the IM Properties’ sale of Blythe Valley, as well as a huge increase in take-up across the city from the public and private sector.
“If the city continues to build on this momentum and capitalise on the positive sentiment seen in the occupier market, the city can expect an even bigger quarters three and four.”
The firm said there was currently 5.3 million sq ft of space under construction, 55 per cent of which remained available, while a number of refurbishment opportunities were emerging including Aviva’s 170,000 sq ft Colmore Gate and the former House of Fraser site, earmarked for a mixed-use, office-led redevelopment.
Charles Toogood, managing director of national offices at Avison Young, added: “The report tells us all the signs are there that Birmingham will continue to recover well from the pandemic – driven by deals already expected, an increase in supply of quality space and further development in the mid to long-term offering a strong pipeline.
“There’s a raft of deals coming through and an increase of grade A supply through the completion of 228,000 sq ft at 103 Colmore Row.
“We also have more than 30,000 sq ft available at BCU’s STEAMhouse in Eastside and more flexible and mixed-use options that can adapt to post-covid office working all imminent, so the second half of this year looks promising.”