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Moving to… Birmingham

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The second largest city in the UK was once a place of industry and manufacturing but has today developed into a thriving metropolis and melting pot for culture, higher education, exceptional sporting prowess as well as a burgeoning live music scene.

If you’re looking to move to Birmingham, there’s a lot you’ll need to know. From how much a property will set you back, to the cost of living, the best drinking spots to crime rates. Read on for a complete guide to the UK’s second city.

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History of Birmingham

Birmingham began as a Saxon village which grew into a town in the 12th Century. The then market town boomed in popularity in the 16th Century before finding its feet as a jewel in the UK’s metalwork crown by the 18th Century. Over the coming centuries, Birmingham solidified itself as a manufacturing powerhouse. At the start of the 21st Century, the city was the centre of major investments with tourism and trade becoming increasingly important to the area’s economy. In 2022, Birmingham will host the Commonwealth Games further boosting the city’s economy.

Where is Birmingham?

Birmingham is located in the centre of the West Midlands. It is 127 miles North West of London and 86 miles South of Manchester. It’s known for being one of the best UK cities.

Buying a house in Birmingham

In 2020, the average property sale price in Birmingham was £232,000. The majority of properties sold are terraced houses, which sell for an average of £199,000. Semi-detached properties were sold for an average of £242,000 while flats were sold for an average of £151,000.

Property prices are increasing though, with homes selling for around 12% more in 2020 than they did the previous year and 17% more than they did in 2018.

As with all cities, not all areas are made equal and some neighbourhoods will naturally be more expensive than others. If you’re moving to Birmingham, the most expensive neighbourhoods to move to are Edgbaston, Harborne, Holloway Head, Bourneville and Sutton Coldfield.

Birmingham city centre

Renting a property

If you’re thinking about renting instead of buying, here’s how much you can expect to pay on average for each type of property:

  • One bedroom property – £699pcm
  • Two bedroom property – £998pcm
  • Three bedroom property – £1,022pcm
  • Four bedroom property – £1,471pcm
  • Five bedroom property – £1,799pcm

As with buying, the rent you pay may differ quite considerably depending on the area of the city you’re looking to move to.

Cost of living

It’s one thing knowing what you’ll pay for your rent or mortgage, it’s another knowing how much you’ll actually spend living in the city. Birmingham boasts a reasonable cost of living considering its size and popularity. Here, your morning coffee will set you back around £2.70 while a pint of beer at a local pub will be around £3.85. A meal for two at a mid-ranged restaurant will cost in the region of £50, while a gym membership goes for £25 per month.

If you’re using public transport, a one-way bus ticket costs £2.40, a day ticket is £6.30 and you can get a monthly travel pass for £65.

In regards to utilities, you can service an 85m2 flat for £155, including gas, electricity, heating and water.

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Living in Birmingham

It’s one thing knowing how much it’s going to cost you to live in Birmingham, but what are you going to do when you’re there? Here, we’ll dig into a little more about what the city has to offer.

Nightlife

Birmingham’s nightlife is a marvel in itself. Due to its reasonably young population and 3 major universities, it’s a city that knows how to party. Whether you’re looking for a quiet drink or to spend the night on the dance floor, you’ll find something to suit your tastes here. 

If fine dining and cocktails are more your vibe, we couldn’t recommend The Mailbox higher. Set on the location of the old Central Post Office, this spot offers high-end restaurants, bars, fashion boutiques and even the BBC studios. There’s around 20 venues serving exquisite drinks and food from a variety of global cuisines.

Looking to get right to the heart of the action? Head over to Broad Street where you’ll find clubs and bars lining the road, each guaranteeing a great night out.

Events 

If you’re a dog lover, you’re in luck. Birmingham is home to the nation’s favourite dog show, Crufts, every March. It’s not just canine capers that you should be looking forward to, the city is host to a wide variety of annual events and festivals including Pride, the Indian Film Festival, Foodie Festival and much, much more. If you’re into music, cars, comedy or even acrobatics, there’s a spot in your calendar that this city can fill.

Public transport 

It’s easy to get around Birmingham, with a host of bus routes, trains and tram networks to choose from. The bus network is swift and reliable with plenty of regular routes running from morning to night, although expect a reduced service on Sundays.

Not only is it simple to get around Birmingham, but its central location and excellent transport links make for plenty of opportunities to visit other parts of the UK with ease. 

What’s not to like about Birmingham?

Nowhere is perfect, so it would be unfair to talk about all the great things Birmingham has to offer without also shedding a little light on some of its downsides. One such drawback is the population of the city. If you’re used to a quieter location, the overcrowded streets and public transport of Birmingham might take a little getting used to.

The Brummie accent is notoriously poked fun at around the UK, but we don’t think it’s that bad, though we’ll leave that one up to you. What’s more likely to frustrate you is driving around the city. If you’re used to using your car, expect congestion. There are plenty of renovations and roadworks taking place around the city and it only gets busier the closer you get to the city centre.

Who lives in Birmingham?

1,140,500 people live in Birmingham, making it the country’s second largest city. Of these 1.14 million people, 22% are children, 64% are of working age and 13% are classed as pensioners. The high number of children in the city means that it’s an accommodating spot to move to for young families, with plenty of amenities and attractions.

Typical broadband speed in Birmingham

Birmingham is home to a speedy internet connection, with an average broadband speed of 68.36 Mbps which is 3.5% faster than the UK’s national average.

Crime rate in Birmingham

Birmingham has the 72nd highest crime rate in the UK, with around 205 crimes per 1,000 people per year. This may sound like a lot but it is noticeably lower than other cities of a similar size. As an example, Birmingham’s crime rate is 84% lower than that seen in Manchester.

Thinking of moving to Birmingham?

If you’re thinking of moving to Birmingham, you may wish to see localised data specific to your neighbourhood or chosen street. Try the Move iQ property report to see everything from average house prices to local amenities, crime rates and even school ratings. Simply enter your postcode to find out everything you need to know about a specific location.

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Last Updated: November 4th, 2021