UKAA Birmingham Study Tour


Yardi was delighted to join over 40 UKAA members on a recent study tour exploring Birmingham’s thriving build to rent (BTR) scene. The tour offered insightful introductions, impressive developments, and valuable networking opportunities. 

Day One: Diverse Developments and Delightful Details

Native - Corkfield

Delegates were welcomed at Centrick’s office on the morning of day one. This was followed by some insightful introductions into the Birmingham BTR marketplace from Cortland Consult and HomeViews. The message was clear, despite recent challenges in the industry, Birmingham really is booming when it comes to BTR, both when it comes to the development pipeline and resident satisfaction scores. This was a fantastic introduction to the two-day tour of Birmingham’s BTR scene and set the tone for the rest of the study tour.

The first development on show was Heimstaden’s Soho Wharf, an impressive mix of build to rent and single-family homes (SFH) located just opposite Birmingham City Hospital. The group was largely in agreement that the real highlight at Soho Wharf was the impressive single-family townhouse on show, complete with a spacious master bedroom on the top floor with a generous balcony, walk-in wardrobe and ensuite bathroom.

The next stop was Edgbaston, where the cricket fans of the group were in for a real treat. Located a mere wicket’s length from the famous Edgbaston cricket ground, Native’s recently opened Corkfield development was a fantastic example of the premium end of Birmingham’s BTR scene.

UKAA Birmingham Study Tour Jan 2024

What became clear almost immediately and would continue to be a strong theme over the course of the two days, was a strong movement towards pet friendly BTR schemes. Corkfield boasts a host of features that cater to the pet lovers in their community, including pet pens adjoined to the seating in the work area, a pet grooming room and of course zero charge for the pets in the building.  

After lunch, the tour moved to Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter to visit the final two developments of day one. The first was Grainger’s impressive Gilders Yard. Developed on the site of a former gilding factory, Grainger worked closely with English Heritage over the course of construction to preserve the listed elements of the original factory. The history of the building has been beautifully conserved, with the artwork around the development reflecting the history of the space. The listed elements of the development were impressive conversions of the original factory building which has been transformed into several stunning New York Style loft apartments.  

The final site of the day was the Goods Yard operated by Urbanbubble.

Amazing connections, great networking, fabulous venues! Fantastic to see build to rent alive and flourishing in Birmingham. 

Justin Harley, Yardi Regional Director

Day Two: Brighter Skies and Spectacular Sites 

UKAA Birmingham Study Tour Jan 2024
Vervlife – Paradise View

Dandara Living’s Aston Place was first up on the agenda. Featuring 324 units in the heart of the city, the study tourists received a warm welcome from the staff as we were shown around yet another fantastic example of what BTR in Birmingham had to offer. Next, we visited Paradise View from VervLife. The development is a couple of weeks away from practical completion and it was fascinating to see a building so close to welcoming residents. From what we saw, it promises to be a fantastic addition to Birmingham’s BTR offering.

Moda Living’s impressive development, The Mercian, was next. With its ultra-premium offering, it provided a sense of what is possible when you get to the upper end of the market. With multiple floors dedicated solely to amenities, there was plenty to see in this stunning 42 floor development. It was certainly the only site on show that boasts a 200m rooftop running track! As well as the plush amenities, tourists were also shown around several of their show apartments including a stunning penthouse with breathtaking views.

We then went on to the final development of the two-day tour of BTR in Birmingham. The event’s sponsors, Way of Life, showcased their lovely development, The Lansdowne, located in Edgbaston Village. With 206 homes, offering a mix of one, two and three bed apartments, it provided an interesting point of difference to the Moda Living site we had just visited.

Team Yardi was glad to be involved in such a wonderful celebration of build to rent developments and will continue to support these fantastic industry events in the future.