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Greater Birmingham unveils ambitious plans at prestigious 25th anniversary MIPIM international real estate show

March 17, 2014Article by Ray Withers

If there’s one event guaranteed to excite property professionals around the globe, it’s the annual MIPIM international real estate show. Held from 11-14 March in the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France, this year’s bumper 25th anniversary show was a glittering celebration of confidence in some of the world’s most exciting investment sectors.

With 20,500 participants from around 80 countries, including 4,000 delegates from the UK, MIPIM is known for bringing together the most influential individuals from property sectors across the world. The intensive four-day show features the largest number of development projects and sources of capital of any property industry event.

Emerging themes

MIPIM 2014 included an investment summit, conferences, awards, networking, thought leadership and cutting edge debates on subjects such as the future of the property industry, latest trends and investment hotspots. Though not able to attend in person due to the recent birth of his son, Property Frontiers Chief Executive Ray Withers has been following the news from MIPIM closely. The leading property entrepreneur comments,

“It has been interesting to see that two of the themes emerging from the debates at this year’s MIPIM show have been global investment hotspots and the growth of the private rented sector. A range of investment projects in Greater Birmingham were unveiled at the show, confirming its position as a leading investment hotspot – something that had already been acknowledged with the city’s being named the Destination of the Future at the recent FDI Association Awards.”

A Greater Birmingham

The rebranding of Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall, Solihull and Birmingham itself as the economic and cultural hub of ‘Greater Birmingham’ has captured the attention of investors worldwide.

Leading international companies including Deutsche Bank, Kraft and Virgin Media already play a key role in contributing to Greater Birmingham’s regional economy. In fact, the area is home to more than 700 global brands, with foreign investment in the city having increased by 50% during 2013. The runway extension at Birmingham International Airport, which is due for completion later this year and which will open up enhanced links between the city and the Far East, is expected to result in even more global interest.

A global city

According to the World Property Channel, the US is currently leading the foreign investment race in Greater Birmingham followed by Germany, Australia, China and India. German investors have big plans for the area, with a £1.5 billion expansion planned for the Solihull factory of Jaguar Land Rover and a Deutsche Bank workforce increase of some 2,000 employees due to take place over the course of the summer.

Not content to rest on its laurels, Birmingham presented a wide range of new capital investment opportunities at MIPIM this month, as befits a city with such a global reputation. Future developments will include the massive Curzon Street/HS2 Masterplan, which Birmingham City Council leader Sir Albert Bore believes will be responsible for the creation of 14,000 jobs and 6 million square feet of retail, leisure, office and hotel space, adding £1.3 billion annually to the city’s economy.

Leading housing developments

The other theme causing excitement amongst MIPIM delegates was the growth of the private rented sector. In the UK, the sector has experienced accelerated growth during the last year with the recent Sequence index identifying new tenancies across the UK as having experienced a 15% year on year increase. According to the UK government, the private rented sector now accounts for around 16.5% of all households – equivalent to nearly 4 million homes.

In Greater Birmingham, the situation mirrors that being experienced elsewhere in the UK, with the rapidly expanding private rented sector leading to an increase in buy to let investment opportunities such as Property Frontiers’ prime Birmingham city centre apartments.

With realistic yields of 9% and with developer underwrites available, the apartments are attracting significant interest already. Early investors are able to take advantage of a 10% pre-launch discount on this off-market opportunity, with prices from as little as £95,000 (£38,000 cash required) prior to the open market launch on 1 April 2014.

With foreign investment and massive regeneration projects set to create so many new jobs in Birmingham over the coming years, experts believe that first class residential accommodation such as the city centre apartments being presented by Property Frontiers will be responsible for leading a new wave in luxury design within the UK’s private rented sector.

For more information on these and other high yielding global property investment opportunities, contact Property Frontiers by  calling +44 1865 202 700.


Ray Withers

Ray has over 17 years’ experience in the international property market and bought his own first international property investment back in 2002. Aside from running Property Frontiers, Ray has been involved in residential, hotel, student and commercial property investment and development in both the UK and overseas and co-wrote "Where to Buy Property Abroad - An Investor's Guide". As Founder and Trustee of the Frontiers Foundation, Ray is directly involved with many of its projects to ensure they have a direct and tangible impact in individual communities across the globe. He is passionate about property, travelling, scouting out new opportunities and finding time to spend with his young family.
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