Estate agents across the country are considering leaping out of the top-floor windows of the tower blocks they can no longer sell, but Birmingham has bucked the trend of misery and desperation by chalking up the city’s first £1 million apartment.
It is true that it took developers Crosby Lend Lease two years to dispose of the 2,788 sq ft penthouse at the Orion Building, and that the asking price had to be reduced by almost a third, but to sell a three-bedroom flat for such a figure in the current depressed property market is remarkable.
The mystery buyer, who exchanged contracts and moved in a week after first viewing the property, is already enjoying the marble-clad wet room, weir bath, library and dramatic open plan living space finished off, of course, with American walnut flooring and triple glazed windows to keep out the noise of the traffic thundering through the city centre 25 storeys below.
Could this be the first glimmer of hope in recession-clad Birmingham? Might this signify that money is still out there and that purchasers are prepared to pay for high-value accommodation? Well, the down-turn has to end sometime, although probably not just yet.
What this does prove, however, is that Birmingham’s never-say-never spirit remains intact even in the midst of global financial turmoil.
The city living dream is not yet over, and there are still plenty of bargains out there to be had. There’s even another penthouse, at the Radisson, for which the owners would no doubt be overjoyed to receive a £1 million offer.
And for aspiring executives not yet quite able to afford to join the millionaire’s club, there are Premier Suites going at the Orion Building for a mere £770,000.
A snip at half the price.