It’s great to see Birmingham in the news for all the right reasons. Voted a ‘Destination of the Future’ by fDi Intelligence (The Financial Times), Birmingham is one of the highest performing cities in all of Europe and the third most globally influential city in the UK (after London and Manchester).
A hub of international investment and industry, Birmingham is undergoing massive regeneration and offers a high quality of life at an affordable price. It is no wonder that over a million people choose Birmingham as their home and a further 150,000 are expected to join the burgeoning population by 2031.
Deutsche Bank’s “new centre of excellence”
Now banking giant Deutsche Bank has announced it will move into a large new office at Five Brindleyplace, the multi-million pound flagship development in the desirable Brindleyplace estate. This move will deliver one of the biggest ever employment boosts in the city’s finance sector, as one thousand new employees join the bank’s existing one thousand strong Birmingham workforce.
These local employment figures show a massive growth considering Deutsche Bank started out with just thirty staff when it moved to Birmingham under a decade ago and the bank says the Brindleyplace office will become “a new centre of excellence” for the firm.
Richard McCarthy, managing director and site head for Deutsche Bank in Birmingham, tells us: “Five Brindleyplace is an excellent building in an outstanding location on the estate and will be an aspirational place in which to work. Brindleyplace has a real sense of community and its connection to the main transport hubs enables us to both attract and retain the very best talent.”
Housing demand soars by two-thirds in one year
The financial sector in Birmingham is certainly strong, being the second largest in the UK outside of London and expected to grow on average by 3.5 per cent per year for the next five years. The move by Deutsche Bank is another great reflection of the city’s international and commercial status and impressive talent pool.
That talent pool needs somewhere to live though and the city’s increasing popularity is causing a massive imbalance between supply and demand. Demand for homes in Birmingham has soared by two-thirds in a year – six times greater than the growth in supply. The city is also outstripping the region in rising house prices too, with an 11 per cent annual rise compared to an average of 8 per cent across the West Midlands.
Ian Simmonds, area director at local estate agent Shipways, explains: “Supply is increasing, up 11 per cent year on year, but it is not keeping up with the increase in demand. There are now over five potential buyers for every available property and it is this imbalance which keeps pushing prices up by 8 per cent annually.”
52 per cent rise in direct foreign investment means 4,000 new jobs
Certainly, the opening of flagship offices from Deutsche Bank and other international industry activity have boosted foreign direct investment. In fact, Birmingham has seen a 52 per cent rise in direct foreign investment in 2012 and 2013, opening up more than 4,000 local jobs.
Residential regeneration of landmark buildings
In addition to commercial developments like Brindleyplace, residential development is also on the up in Birmingham – partly to try and assist supply and partly thanks to citywide regeneration schemes. The historical 20 storey Metropolitan House, also known as No 1 Hagley Road, is one such project.