Developers and investors have continued to show confidence in Birmingham as it maintains record-levels of development across the city centre for the third consecutive year.

The 17th annual Real Estate Birmingham Crane Survey, published by financial services firm Deloitte, shows construction levels remained resilient despite economic pressures with 23 new starts breaking ground in 2018 - only one fewer than during 2017.

However, it was some way behind Manchester, which had 44 starts during 2018 including 22 residential projects, and only two starts ahead of Leeds.

Residential schemes dominated in Birmingham, the report said, as both domestic and foreign investors sought to be part of the resurgence within the city.

Work on the second office building at the Paradise project started last year
Work on the second office building at the Paradise project started last year

There were new starts on 13 major residential developments, taking the total to 20, which surpassed the record-breaking levels recorded in the 2018 report with 5,065 units currently under construction, up almost 25 per cent on the previous year's figure.

Completing the Birmingham projects are four student accommodation schemes, taking the total number of bed spaces under construction to 2,667, two office projects totalling 1.4 million sq ft, two educational buildings and one hotel and one retail/leisure development.

Deloitte's report measures the volume of development taking place across Birmingham and other major UK city centres and their impact.

 

Property types surveyed include offices and retail schemes above 10,000 sq ft, residential projects with at least 25 units and "significant" education, leisure and hotel developments.

Edwin Bray, partner at Deloitte Real Estate and author of this year's survey, said: "Residential development is on the rise and with it a renewed confidence in the city as business and investors look to relocate and invest in the city centre.

"Birmingham is thriving despite the economic landscape, buoyed by the enabling works taking place ahead of HS2 and preparation for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Birmingham's skyline has been dominated by cranes in recent years
Birmingham's skyline has been dominated by cranes in recent years

"Fast becoming a city of choice, Birmingham remains an attractive option for national and international relocations, underlined by recent statistics from the West Midlands Growth Company which recorded a 13 per cent increase in foreign direct investment projects and 43 per cent increase in the number of jobs created in 2017-2018 compared to the previous 12 months.

"The residential sector is responding to demand for city centre living and developers remain keen to secure key strategic sites as the competition for new entrants intensifies.

"The Westside quarter of the city remains popular with nine schemes under construction, including Moda Living's £183 million build-to-rent scheme which is set to become Birmingham's tallest residential tower, rising to 42 storeys."