An influx of foreign students, a thriving leisure scene and its proximity to Grand Central and the Bullring have made Southside BID area the hottest residential market in the city according to a leading agent.

Apartments are currently being snapped up within hours of going on the market with rents and capital values both on the rise as supply outstrips demand according to Marc Walker, head of new homes and residential development at York Laurent.

There are currently more than 1,000 units in the pipeline across Southside – either approved or in the planning system – and Marc believes they cannot come to the market fast enough.

He said: “This time of year is particularly busy for us in the Southside area as it is very popular with students, particularly from overseas, and this is the time of year when students are leaving and also arriving in the city but there is no doubt that this year we are busier than ever.

“We opened our office in the Arcadian five years ago because we saw a gap in the market and our timing was spot on because the residential market there has just gone from strength to strength.

“In our time in Southside there has been a huge positive transformation of the area as all the residential development has encouraged complimentary investment in the local bars, restaurants and shops and I think it is undoubtedly the city’s most vibrant district.”

There are currently a number of schemes in various stages of the planning process including a major Lend Lease scheme, a Benacre development on Upper Dean Street and the transformation of the former Silver Blades ice rink into more than 300 apartments.

Nin Rehal, founder and managing director of Bromsgrove Street-based Northwood – which recently won a gold award from the website – said the area was becoming attractive to investors, both local and from much farther afield.

He said: “We have been in Southside for eight years and I can honestly say that we have never struggled to let an apartment and it is a market that is now starting to catch the eye of investors who increasingly understand that London is not the be all and end all.

“We are seeing money come into the area from China, Hong Kong and the Middle East especially as well as from down south from investors who might be getting yields of five or six percent in London whereas in Southside they are getting closer to seven to 10 per cent.”

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