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Ahoy Ahoy
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Hello, long time no see.

I was wondering how much more can Birmingham keep on building apartment blocks. Who keeps on buying these places. Yes, they look very nice but surely the bottom has got to fall out of the market soon?

I think the Rotunda will keep it going for a couple more years as it is such a huge development.

Does anyone have the market figures? I suppose Birmingham is the best place for these developments being in the centre of the country making it such a good commuter city.

What do the rest think?
 

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well u say is there too many apartments....but too many apartments for who???

upper class expensive apartments....maybe there will be too much in the future....but why should the city centre only be home to the wealthy young proffessional????
 

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Looking at the success of the rounda and the cube. Id say theres still a massive market out there.
From millionaire penthouses to students, theres huge demand.
 

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Most new flats are snapped up by landlords to rent or investors to rent/leave empty and sell for a profit later. With this high demand the building firms can sustain their fat margins and continue to build. The price of these new builds remains high pushing up the rest of the housing market. Some argue the market is due a correction as prices are still rising faster then earnings but for most home owners its a case of "I'm alright Jack'
 

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Simples
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Well irrespective of short term spikes in the market the long term trend is to higher density housing in Britain's citys & more city appartments is the logical solution - in Birmingham especially i think. Here's why...

1st - we have an ever greater number of single people - marrage/divorce/Birth rates are setting a trend that will not peak for sometime. - ie trend to smaller households

2nd - Property companies are under an obligation to build 60% of new build on brownfield sites concentrating development in Britain's larger towns and cities where profitable larger plots of land become avaliable regularily

3rd - Regional and political priorities have combined to regenerate Britain's core cities into places that are far more desirable than they were 15 years ago. Barring an economic collapse or a change in political priorities away form helping the core cites (which are relatively poor overall compared market towns) this regeneration trend is likely to continue.

4th & most important reason is that (because of reason 3) cities have shown themselves to be massively popular places to live.. the rich want to live there, if they run out of rich people to build for then they will adjust to building towards the next income bracket down (ie cheaper appartments).

For Birmingham the pattern is likely to continue as there are vast swathes of land within the Middle ring road that need regenating and enough schemes on the go now to be creating a virtuous circle of developable land... ie the more developments in finge of city centre areas the more edges there are to develop from (ie Jewlery Quarter, Eastside, Southside, etc).
 

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He glides like a bird
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It's all very nice having these apartments, and I am in no way against them, but the issue, as has already been briefly mentioned, is that inverstors buy them off plan, retain them for, say, 6 months, and then sell them on at a profit; nothing wrong with that I hear you say, but I suspect the result is that many new apartments actually remain empty and unlived in, which is why I made a comment in another thread on how a little disappointed I was when it was announced AC will be mostly apartments - my reasoning is that maybe 50% of it will remain empty for some time - good news for the developers and buy to investors, bad news for the local area which is meant to benefit from having a new community on it's doorstep.
It would be interesting if some stats were available comparing the number of apartments built in the last 5 years within the inner core, to how many new permanent city residents they have 'generated' as a result.
 

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Second Citizen
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^^I know what you mean, but a lot of people buy apartments as investments to let because not everyone wants to own an apartment in town, some prefer to rent.

A lot of people buy apartments at risk to themselves (off-plan), when they are not occupiable for a couple of years.

I think apartments generally fill up, but it takes a while for eveything to settle down, and the cream to rise to the top. I predict we will see a divergence in the apartment market now - as Engels mentioned we are beginning to see 'affordable' apartments being built (in Park Central and on the Bristol Road next to the YWCA) and also 'design-led' apartments (Rotunda, Cube, Arena Central) where people are happy to spend a lot of money provided they get good service and a nice apartment.
 

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TBH the whole idea that all apartment blocks are bought by investors doesn't hold water, in the heady days of the late 90's owner occupation was about 75-80% but even now it comes in at a steady 50% and has more or less stuck at that level since early-2003.

The fact is that it is perceived as an exciting and convenient way to live, with the biggest reason as always that people would prefer to walk to work/shops/go out than need to rely on the car, which I can't see really changing as the real cost of owning and operating a car becomes more expensive. The fact is that the CC market is consistently underpinned by a market of people who either can't afford to live in the City Centre or w ho still can't find the development they want. Even me as a "wealthy young proffessional" (Thanks for the stereotype!) still can't find what I would like in the City Centre either from a value point of view or moving into something I like, and I know dozens of people living in Kings Heath, Erdington, Selly Oak who are in exactly the same boat.

The main adjustments that I see happening in the market is that the shoddiest developments are the ones that you will consistently see on the market, So a quick browse through rightmove over the past few years and I would venture years to come would see loads of apartments for sale at places like Qube and J-Quarter and virtually none at Symphony Court!

Additionally the fact that most of them appear empty is really a bit of a misnomer, Most of the apartment blocks in Birmingham operate at between 80 and 95% occupancy. Just because the lights arn't on it doesn't mean no-one is home. Drive down any residential street at 9 o'clock and see how many of the lights are on, In my block in Erdington, Every apartment is occupied, but I am always amazed how few lights are on.

For the facts about 5,000 apartments have been built in Birmingham CC since 1998, with an estimated further 5,000 in the pipeline before the and of 2010, At the moment owner occupier figures are at about 60% of total. In terms of comparable places somewhere like Machester/Salford has about 10,000 for a comparable Metro district and also has lots of City living in sattelite towns like Liverpool, Stockport, Warrington etc. Birmingham is still a way behind cmpared to that and the City Living market in the sattelites is pretty poor, with basically two developments in Wolvo, a few in coventry and a couple in Lem and Sutton. What is more concerning is that in the long term there appears to be a pretty healthy supply. But in the immeadiate short term there isn't enough, in terms of sales several massive developments have just finished ie Southside, Jupiter, Holliday Wharf and Orion, while several smaller schemes, Rotouda for one (I don't think 234 apartments is exactly huge and it was mainly bought by London types) have already 100% sold there, there are lots of smaller schemes such as in the JQ, but the reallly big ones such as Cube, Arena Central, Typhoo Wharf, Martineax Galleries, even the next phase of Masshouse are 18 months away minimum.

In short, no the bottom isn't dropping out the market, WCS the market may readjust by 10% or so, what is happening is more choice, which means developers will need to raise their game and produce better product!

ok rant over:baaa:
 

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hoody said:
but surely the bottom has got to fall out of the market soon?
Why? if anything building more keeps the price of those in the city centre down as it increases supply. Supply and demand. Obviously some developments are good for prices like the Cube.
 

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You're only talking of a few thousand apartments built in central Birmingham over the last 10 years, probably less than 8,000. Manchester has built 3 times that amount in the same period!
 

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He glides like a bird
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I wonder how much more council tax the city council is raking in.

Also, these owner occupiers making up 60% of the total - are they new workers in a city centre now attracting increasing professional finance and legal services, or are they ex-commuters that worked in town anyway?
 

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Mr Glide said:
Also, these owner occupiers making up 60% of the total - are they new workers in a city centre now attracting increasing professional finance and legal services, or are they ex-commuters that worked in town anyway?
Does is matter? Ether is progress. Though Birmingham's Professional sector has increased markedly over the last 5 years.
 
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