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Investment on the rise in Birmingham property

Transactions hit £845 million as city property deals continue to attract interest and investment

The sale of Colmore Plaza was one of the major deals in Birmingham last year

Investment in Birmingham commercial property has hit another record high with £845 million transacted in 2015, almost double the five-year average, according to new research.

Office sales accounted for 76 per cent of the investment volume with £641 million from 25 deals, an increase of two per cent on 2014's tally of £626 million, according to analysis by the CoStar Group.

A total £67.5 billion was invested in UK commercial real estate in 2015, a five per cent decrease on the record of £70.7 billion invested in 2014, making it the second strongest year on record and 46 per cent above the ten-year average.

The most notable commercial property deals last year included Ashby Capital's acquisition of Colmore Plaza for £138.3 million and Legal & General buying 1 Colmore Square for £87.3 million.

Birmingham has also become a big attraction for banks in recent years, with Deutsche Bank moving back office functions from London, and HSBC intending to relocate its retail operations to Birmingham from London.

Marianne Fitzpatrick, real estate analyst at CoStar, said: "Birmingham is enjoying something of a renaissance at the moment as the city has benefited from an infrastructure facelift and international investors looking for value outside of London.

"The refurbishment of New Street station, the extension of the tram line, the forthcoming HS2 railway link to London and some banks moving operations away from the expense of the capital has all helped draw attention to Birmingham."

In another positive sign for the region, commercial property investment in the West Midlands rose six per cent in 2015, with £2.66 billion transactions.

The UK Investment Transactions report, produced by consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton, said that, across the West Midlands, the office sector accounted for 31 per cent of the total volume invested at £822 million, while retail accounted for almost 28 per cent with £744 million of acquisitions.

Industrial transactions stood at £453 million (17 per cent), while £645 million worth of transactions were recorded in other sectors.

The figures show that 2015's performance was 54 per cent above the five-year average and 49 per cent above the region's ten-year average.

Key deals in the region included the sale of the NEC for £307 million to LDC.

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