Birmingham developers have cracked open the champagne to celebrate the sale of the city’s first million pound apartment.
The penthouse flat in The Orion Building was sold to a local businessman in his 30s, who exchanged contracts and moved in the same day – a week after viewing.
With house prices plummeting, the sale of Birmingham’s most expensive flat has given a much-needed boost to the city’s housing industry.
The purchase of the flat breaks the record for the most expensive apartment by £100,000.
However, the developers have been forced to knock £650,000 off the original asking price – after two-and-a-half years on the market.
Crowning the 25-storey building on Navigation Street, the Penthouse features three double bedrooms, floor-to-ceiling windows and expansive views.
Conceived by fashion designer John Rocha, the apartment reflects the designer’s trademark style with walnut floors and granite workplaces.
The owner will be able to entertain guests in the large open-plan living room, or unwind in the overflowing infinity bath with marble surround and a panoramic view.
Colin Dean, sales and marketing manager for Crosby Lend Lease, said: “This is a huge coup for Birmingham. Whilst national news reports have dedicated a lot of coverage to the reduction in the number of new homes under construction – as well as the drop in property values – the purchaser of this penthouse has had the confidence to break the record books and invest a seven-figure sum. Whilst the rate of sale has slowed, sales are still being achieved and people are continuing to vote with their feet and become owner-occupiers.”
The sale of the Orion Penthouse marks a victory for developers Crosby over rivals at Beetham Towers, where their £1.5 million luxury flat atop of the 39-storey building is on the market.
David Fenton, head of estate agent Knight Frank’s Midlands residential development, said the top-end of the market is still buoyant.
“Certainly the demand for high specification apartments in iconic buildings has been particularly strong, and demand for city living in Birmingham has remained stable from all sectors of the market,” he said. “Buyers are certainly more price sensitive in the new homes scene, but the range and depth of provision has expanded greatly. The aspirational end of the market has performed particularly well.”
Despite the eventual success of the Orion Penthouse, estate agents have seen demand for expensive city living has slowed.
Liam Bailey, head of residential research at Knight Frank said rising land values, high density guidelines and affordability concerns are pushing developers to build smaller units.
“The result is disparities between the newly regenerated city core and inner-city fringe are becoming more apparent. Another key issue is family housing in terms of implications for family homes.”
The Orion Building is not fully sold. Several of their top-range flats are still on the market, including two Premier Suites.