An annual report by global real estate organisation, The Urban Land Institute (ULI) and PwC has included Birmingham in its list of top European cities for investment and development opportunities for the first time ever.
The report – Emerging Trends in Real Estate, Europe 2014 – ranks major European cities according to their investment prospects. Birmingham is the only UK city outside of London and Edinburgh to be featured.
Chair of Midlands ULI and head of the Real Estate Group at UK law firm Wragge & Co, Adrian Bland, said: “This is great news for the UK’s second city as it prepares to showcase its talents at MIPIM - the leading international real estate fair for 20,000 participants and the the highlight of the real estate calendar. Working with many clients in the Midlands, we have first-hand knowledge of the upturn in the region with an increasing number of projects now coming through the pipeline. The report reveals returning confidence to the sector across Europe, with investment activity on the increase in key markets. We have every reason to be positive.
“This report gives us substantial evidence which shows investors are looking for real opportunities in the regions. The airport extension, New Street Station redevelopment, the Metro extension and HS2 proposals are helping make Birmingham an obvious choice. It’s the only regional city to be included in the report, which is a significant step and speaks volumes.”
Birmingham was ranked 20th for existing investments (above Barcelona, Brussels and Rome), 22nd for new investments and 19th for development.
“We know that real estate is a highly cyclical sector – and one that will particularly benefit if the general economic recovery continues,” continued Adrian. “Birmingham can do more to move up the rankings next year - there are definitely lessons to be learned from other cities. Improving the perception and profile of the city and region; ensuring the welcome mat is laid out for investors and developers looking to do business here and maintaining consistency in how we work with them, will all work to Birmingham’s advantage.”
Lawyers from the Real Estate Group at both Wragge & Co’s Birmingham and London offices are attending MIPIM. Ranked as a tier one group in legal directories Chambers UK Midlands and Legal 500, Wragge & Co advises clients across the entire commercial real estate sector.
Adrian concludes: “MIPIM gives us an excellent opportunity to build on the results of this report by enabling the city’s delegation to highlight the growing interest in Birmingham and showcase the area’s exciting infrastructure projects happening both now and in the future. The ULI/PWC report will also be showcased at the event in front of a diverse European audience, putting Birmingham firmly on the European real estate map.”