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Regional Cities Attracting Record Demand from Developers

Some of the UK’s biggest regional cities are seeing construction levels rise as developers look to capitalise on their increasing popularity.

Regional Cities See Record Demand from Developers

Some of the UK’s biggest regional cities are seeing construction levels rise as developers look to capitalise on their increasing popularity.

Construction activity in Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Belfast has increased across a number of asset classes such as commercial property, residential housing, student accommodation and hotels, according to the latest Deloitte Real Estate Crane Surveys in each city.


The surveys, designed to give a specific cross section of construction in some of the UK’s key locations, revealed that there has been a record demand from developers in these four cities, driving the total level of construction to the highest level for nearly a decade in these locations.


Led by a surge in demand for office space, Birmingham has a total of 1.4 million sq ft of commercial offices currently under construction in the city – the most construction to take place in the sector since the Deloitte began tracking in 2002.


Manchester has seen a rise in residential construction, with 22 new projects beginning in the city last year, including the tallest residential tower in the UK, which will top out at 66 storeys high.


A mix of office and retail demand has been the driving force behind construction in Leeds, with more than 700,000 sq ft of office space and nearly 600,000 sq ft of shopping areas introduced to the city over the last 12 months.


In Belfast, the hotel sector has dominated new construction in the city, with the introduction of more than 1,000 new hotel rooms across 8 projects in the Northern Irish capital.


Demand for student accommodation has continued to play a role in these major education hubs; Belfast is set to welcome seven new student projects, whilst more than 1,000 new beds are due to be introduced to Birmingham to accommodate for its growing student population.


Commenting on the findings in the surveys, Simon Bedford, local government development partner at Deloitte Real Estate, said:


‘The results of our four crane surveys reflect the growth and resurgence in the regions, breaking records set a decade ago … All sectors are active and we conclude that our regional cities are delivering growth and investment at levels not witnessed for many years.’


Last November, the housing minister, Gavin Barwell, announced funding for new build-to-rent homes in Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds, in an effort to help meet the rapidly growing demand for homes in this region.


Speaking at the announcement last year, Mr Barwell said: ‘This is one of the largest private rental sector deals in the UK and will not only create thousands of homes for people in Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester – it will create jobs and opportunities for many hundreds of people.’

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