Birmingham

A Guide to Living in Birmingham

Birmingham is located in the West Midlands in the heart of England. Often described as England’s second city it is a hub of business, tourism and importantly – is home to Cadburys dairy chocolate. Our Birmingham Area Guide looks at the residential regions of the city centre. These areas can be broken down into several quarters and are currently undergoing some exciting regeneration. As well as this, it explores the best places to live in Birmingham and reviews from residents who own or rent in Birmingham.

Birmingham residents, or Brummies, provide a welcoming home to new visitors and old. Birmingham’s history is built on its industrial power and majestic waterways, music, shopping and culture.

Getting Around Birmingham

Birmingham city is very much at the heart of the UK. It thrives off links to all the major motorways with links to the M5, M6, M40 and M42 via the Spaghetti Junction. As a transport hub with national bus and train links and a smart new tram system, Birmingham is easily connected to the rest of the UK. Also, Birmingham’s Finance district highest number of insurance and finance businesses outside of London. With a number of luxury offices with restaurants, cafés or commercial outlets there are also a growing number of residential apartments.

The Jewellery Quarter

The Jewellery Quarter dates back over 250 years and is home to more than 500 jewellery retailers making it one of the largest concentrations of jewellery businesses in Europe. The JQ, as it’s known locally, is home to bars, independent restaurants and creative businesses. The Jewellery Quarter home to Islington Gates and Regency Place is often described as the perfect place to work, rest and play.

 

“Close to the city centre and canal side. Love the view.” Anon, Verified Resident of Islington Gates

East Side

Birmingham’s East Side is undergoing some of the most active redevelopment. A number of parks, office buildings and luxury apartments are being built whilst incorporating some of its old charm. As well as this, the Hs2 link offering fast speed connections to London will be arriving into Curzon Street Station. Not far from the Bullring shopping centre is Digbeth, also known as the Irish Quarter and Birmingham’s creative district. With galleries, music venues, and independent shops, this area of Birmingham is home to the famous Custard Factory.

 

China Town

China Town, more formally known as Southside, perfectly sums up much of Birmingham multi-cultural charm. With clubs, shops, residential apartments like Madison House and The Forum as well as a multitude of restaurant. Also, this area incorporates The gay village, Chinese quarter and Hippodrome theatre.

 

“I think the area is quite fine. As it is close to the city centre, I find it very accessible and convenient to get around. There are also lots of shops and restaurants nearby.” James, Verified Resident of The Forum

The City Centre

If you are, however, looking for canal side living and a huge variety of leisure facilities then the west side of the Birmingham City Centre, home to Liberty Place, is the area for you. The Brindley Place area contains international entertainment centres including: The International Convention Centre, Symphony Hall and Sealife Centre. The Gun Quarter which previously supported the productions of guns now has a number of unconverted buildings ripe for conversion. As such this is an area undergoing a lot of change and is forecasted to be one of the best areas to rent in Birmingham.

 

“Good area, classed as city centre but outside city centre. Close to nice bars and restaurants. Don’t need to use buses or trains you can easily everywhere.” Anon, Verified Resident of Liberty Place

 

You can find out more about living in Birmingham by reading reviews from residents. Click on the developments below to find out more about residents’ experiences and discover great places to rent in Birmingham. Although, if there’s a Birmingham property that you can’t see on HomeViews,  you can add a new listing and leave your review here.
4.46
Average Location Score

Excellent

58%

Very Good

34%

Average

6%

Disappointing

2%

Very Poor

1%

Top Rated Developments in Birmingham

Reviews in Birmingham

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Not as nice as I first thought…

Verified Resident
Verified Resident
Review Date Jul 2020

Jewellery Quarter is great if you work in town. The block is on the far edge of the quarter and all the new blocks have empty retail units in but I think the area will be better as these are filled. At this end of the Jewellery it’s good for jewellery shops (shocking) and pubs/bars- the other amenities are at the other side, closer to St Paul’s square.

Please review your development:

The flats are nice and light, with big windows. They are well insulated with good bathroom/waterheaters etc.

Ovens that come with the flats aren’t full size and without having to buy extra kitchen furniture I’m not sure how you could comfortablely use them- there’s a single double cupboard at the bottom and a 3 half depth cupboard above and a single shelf.

The block was nicer a year ago when we moved in- but damaged ceiling panels in communal areas have not been fixed yet and generally when something needs work on it – you’re waiting on it for quite a while.

The building manager is hard to get a hold of and the concierge can’t do too much without their approval, and they are prone to changing policies without telling residents. I think sometimes they forget that you’re paying for a service with your service charge.

There aren’t enough bins for the number of flats in the stores for recycling which leads to unhelpful passive aggressive letters from the property management which I think is poor service.

If there is a problem with something in your apartment you get caught between the property management company and the company that built the block as neither generally wants to take responsibility.

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

It’s quite a bit further to new street station than you might first think!

The service you get isn’t comparable with the price you pay to live here.

How has the building management responded to any problems or issues you have raised:

Slow to respond. Didn’t tell us when they had put the flat on the market.

Ended up locked out when property management company broke our lock- very little response or action. We were out the house for 8 hours.

3
Facilities
4
Design
4
Location
2
Value
1
Management
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A great place to live, just a couple of niggles…

Verified Resident
Verified Resident
Review Date May 2020

The city centre location, bars, restaurants, public transport. Snow Hill and Grand Central Station are less than 10 minutes away, as is the Bullring and Mailbox.

There is a lack of on street parking – even with a permit. Half the road is pay and display and the other half is permit only. The permit only parking is often full so you’re lucky if you can park down the street. The main road whcih provides access to the street has been closed for almost a year due a damaged bridge, you now need to drive through the center of town to get home – it’s nothing bad but a pain in rush hour!

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The balconies could be more private. They over look the canals and as there is always a high foot fall, people are always walking but and staring up to see what you are doing.

The cladding on the property is a major issue. It all needs replacing due to its flammability. The insurers have stated they will not provide insurance for the building until it is replaced, but it’s not subject to the goverment funding, the owners are responsible for the costs which are in the £10’s thousands for each tenant – be wary if you’re looking to purchase here.

Because of the above (I can only assume) the previous property management firm have ended the contract and a new property management firm has just been appointed – I’m yet to have any dealing with them but theu are regionla local firm.

The building manager is really helpful. Usually a really quick response when requiring assistance.

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

How slow the lift is! Its an old development so the lift is nit very quick.

Its also very easy for noise to transfer from one flat to another. You don’t notice this on the viewing as there is so much ambient noise, but at night it is loud!

If there is one thing you would change about your flat or property what would it be:

The heating system. The electric panel heaters are not big enough for the rooms and are very difficult to use.

There is always vast amounts of codensation which form on the sliding doors forming mould on the seals.

4
Facilities
3
Design
5
Location
3
Value
2
Management
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A good investment

Verified Resident
Verified Resident
Review Date Apr 2020

A really great area – The Jewellery Quarter is such a hidden gem (excuse the pun) in the heart of Birmingham… Lots of pubs, bars & restaurants that are slightly away from Broad street so you can enjoy a drink or a meal in peace!

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The development itself is ageing quite badly and a lot of the appliances that Charles Church put inside the flats, you can tell, were cheap and poor quality. The parking was great at the development but the gate a total nightmare – always breaks down and takes the management company so long to fix!
I have had no issues renting out the flat and so far the tenants have stayed for a good length of time.

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

Deliveries can be a pain as the pedestrian entrance is a floor lower than expected

What is the best feature of your home:

The location in Jewellery Quarter is fantastic – highly recommended

2
Facilities
3
Design
4
Location
4
Value
1
Management
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Liberty Place

Verified Resident
Verified Resident
Review Date Apr 2020

The location is extremely convenient for entertainment, restaurants bars etc. Also very handy for transport links out of the city. Being so central is convenient in many ways and offers a range of activities on your doorstep including scenic walks and open areas for relaxation.

Please review your development:

I really enjoy living at Liberty Place. All tenants I have met have been very friendly, the concierge is fantastic and very helpful and open 24 hours. The design of the development itself ensures it is quiet and peaceful despite its very central location.

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

I didn’t realise my previous internet provider (Virgin broadband) could not be installed at this property as they do not service this area. As a result my personal broadband connection is quite slow.

What is the best feature of your home:

Very light and open flat design and nice size balcony.

4
Facilities
3
Design
4
Location
4
Value
4
Management
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