Solihull is on a par with London and the ‘Big Six’ when it comes to investment, a new report has found.
The borough has been named ‘growth leader’ in a report by property consultancy JLL, meaning it has seen strong capital value growth, above 25% since the end of the downturn at the end of 2012.
Solihull, which is fairing well alongside towns like Brighton and Reading, is also forecast to see above average economic growth over the next five years.
In the report, which looked at ‘the new geography of office demand,’ JLL said that the outlook for the UK’s smaller cities has been more optimistic than it has been for some time.
The success of smaller cities will be closely associated with their ability to attract skilled workers and clusters of businesses, said the report, with the devolution agenda key to many, giving them greater control over their future.
The New Geography Of Office Demand: Where Next In The UK?’ looked at three categories of smaller city: ‘growth leaders’, ‘potential performers’ and ‘awaiting lift off’.
Ian Cornock, lead director for the Birmingham office of JLL, said: “Growth leaders such as Solihull have benefited from double-digit capital value growth over the past two years. The majority of this has been driven by yield compression, with rents yet to see any significant uplift in most cities.
“The outlook remains solid for growth leaders and we expect to see a gradual shift towards rent-driven performance.
“The UK Central brand adopted by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in 2013 to highlight the number of infrastructure assets around the Solihull part of the city region and its high level of connectivity has clearly had an impact on the market.
“Deals such as IM Properties’ acquisition of Blythe Valley Business Park at the beginning of this year shows strong investor appetite for the area.
“Being seen as part of Greater Birmingham also impacts on the market as the city continues to draw global attention for HS2 and its position at the centre of a world class automotive industry with JLR, BMW and Rolls Royce in or near to Solihull.”