The Birmingham Property Blog

Election impact on the property market


What impact has the general election had on the UK property market?


As an estate agent we’ve had a lot of questions lately about the property market, mainly based on the general election and what impact it’s had.

Despite the uncertainty about the election, stats recently revealed by an independent expert have shown an average increase of 0.3% in property sales in the month of May.

Although property transactions have undoubtly slowed down in the past couple of months, which is unusual for this time of the year, Rightmove has revealed that between April and May property prices in the Midlands increased by 1.3%.

The West Midlands alone has risen 5.9% since this time last year, and it may surprise some of you, but it still remains the region with the highest increase in property prices.

Surely the increase in statistics show that the election hasn't had that much of an impact on the property market as we first thought. As an independant estate agent, we personally haven't seen any change in the amount of prospective buyers looking for their ideal home or buy to let investment, infact the market is still as buoyant.


What are your thoughts on the property market? We’d be very interested to hear them by emailing



Five steps to get your house summer ready!

With summer around the corner, we hope, it’s now time to get your house summer ready!
Whether you’re thinking about selling, or your home is simply in need of a late ‘spring clean’, follow these five steps and hopefully you’ll be surprised with the added kerb appeal.


1) The first aspect of a property family, friends and viewers see is the driveway.
If you have block paving start by removing the weeds, it may seem like a never ending task but it will be worth it, and make sure all borders are clear of litter and unattractive plants.
On the flip side, if you have a concrete drive, add potted plants or small shrubs next to your front door, it will make your home feel more inviting. Top tip... get the jet wash out.









2) De-clutter! Remove all unwanted toys, books and photos.
What else is the loft good for? An even better idea, get the kids to decide which toys they no longer want. Summer is an ideal time to have a boot sale!

Here's a good place to start  ...  

3) Give those walls some TLC! The paint jobs you’ve been putting off, now is the time.
The children’s old play room with the crayon scribbled walls and tatty posters needs a new modern vibe.

4) Finish those DIY jobs you started and never finished.
You’ll be surprised how the smallest task can make a difference, down to a door handle that needs to be replaced, to broken light bulb that havent been changed in months, every little helps

5) Make your garden presentable!
There is nothing more unattractive than a garden that looks high maintenance.









The house we currently have for sale on Fakenham Croft is the perfect example of a presentable garden! Follow the link for more information on Fakenham Croft in Harborne.


A fantastic first quarter!


We’ve had a fantastic first quarter to the year! With a great volume of sales in Birmingham and Edgbaston, it’s been made all the more rewarding with what our clients have said about us!













If only all estate agents were like James Laurence! The level of service on both sales and letting is outstanding.” “We cannot recommend them more highly and would urge you to make them top of your list if you need fabulous service from a top quality independent estate agent in Birmingham.” March 2017.

I wouldn't hesitate in recommending them to anyone buying and selling residential property in Birmingham.” March 2017.

Really professional, they have taken time out to understand our needs and provide us with good tenants, all of whom have been pre checked. I am confident in recommending them.” March 2017

I cannot overstate how great James Laurence are” February 2017

From valuation to completion of sale the service we received was outstanding. Nothing was too much; advice, guidance and opinion was given throughout to help us through a process” September 2016.


At James Laurence Estate Agents we pride ourselves in going above and beyond for our clients.
We’d like you to think the same, and for that you need to give us the chance.

Please call or email us today and give us the chance to prove ourselves.
0121 456 5454 / 0121 604 4060 or


BRAND NEW! Kelsall Croft


James Laurence are delighted to release an exciting collection of BRAND NEW four bedroom three storey townhouses ideal for city dwellers and investors alike.



These luxury homes in the central location of Kelsall Croft offer a ground breaking level of luxury within its urban living surroundings-the flagship site for developers. Whilst the B1 postcode is usually synonymous with apartments, these quality town houses are built to a very high specification, setting new standards within the area. The properties comprise of a living room with bi-folding doors leading to the garden, separate kitchen, and bath/shower rooms complimenting the four double bedrooms on the first and second floor.

On the doorstep of the city centre, Kelsall Croft is a cul de sac just off St Marks Crescent, offering ease of access to the Ladywood Middleway (ringroad around the city) and A38 access to the M6 and M42/M40 motorways. Within walking distance is New Street and Snow Hill stations, both with lines connecting London. Canal side bars and restaurants of Brindley Place, in close proximity to the Convention Quarter's Barclaycard Arena, are close by with a plethora of shopping complexes of The Mailbox, Grand Central and the Bullring nearby.

The properties are also stone’s throw away from Birmingham’s iconic Jewellery Quarter, which has recently been named one of the top ‘hotspots’ to live in the UK. This has come to light after Zoopla conducted research into the areas price growth which reviled an increase of 31.34% since 2011. With positive news stories becoming the weekly norm it seems, voted top city for young professionals moving from London to live in the last two years, voted "in the top 10 cities in the world" and "top regional city for overseas investment" in the UK to name just a few, the future is looking bright for the city.


Advertised from February 16th, all have now been reserved. Don’t miss out on another fantastic opportunity like this!


Register your details with us on 0121 456 5454 or 0121 604 4060 now!

Best Place to live in the Midlands 2016

More positive news emerged this week as the Jewellery Quarter was voted one of the best places to live in the Midlands in the prestigious Sunday Times Best Places to live 2016.

Described as
"this up-and-still-coming area is a 10 minute walk from the city centre, and its set for a boost with the Snow Hill masterplan..............despite the macchiato culture, industrial character Brum remains"
highlighting that Jewellery is made here. Also highlighted that loft apartments can be purchased for under £200,000, though prices are rising. See below examples

Derwent Foundry, St Pauls Square                                                      Point 3, George Street

The Sunday times points to the fact they have been "bigging up Birmingham for years" as property prices have increased 6% over the last year "rising as fast of the citys population"
They report accurately that city centre flats and the promise of HS2 in the horizon will (and is already experiencing).

looking for a property?
Please contact us to arrange a viewing at 0121 604 4060 or Danielle at

Another happy customer

Great to hear excellent feedback for our lettings team again:

"Hi - just wanted to drop you a line to give some positive feedback on Henry Crane, who showed me round three properties today.
I've been viewing apartments all week, and without a doubt Henry was the most professional person I've dealt with.
He, more than anyone else I've met from a range of agents, took the time to try to understand what I was looking for, asked a lot of questions without being intrusive, and clearly had his clients' (the owners) interests at heart, as he was always looking for feedback and what I thought.

... I'm confident Henry understands exactly what sort of thing I'm looking for, so if you find anything nice and spacious, with 2 beds, near St Paul's Sq then let me know!
Great work - thanks. "
Looking to rent your property in Birmingham currently? Please contact or call 0121 604 4060 today.

Birmingham is back on the world map, just like Adele

Just as Adele has re announced her stamp on the music industry in 2015, with a sell-out tour (including visiting the NEC) due in 2016, we would love to announce the official welcome return of the vibrant and hugely investable 2ndcity of England. Yes, ladies and gentleman, BIRMINGHAM IS BACK.


Now, I know what you are thinking, we work here and we have to promote it-maybe the rose tinted glasses are on, similar to the viewing point a home owner may have as everyone has “the best house on my street”.


But as of 2015 Birmingham has gone…well…viral.
Mentions in the New York Times, flights starting to China from Birmingham International as of July 2015-the only airport outside of London-and of course the huge investment in to the city centre residential skyline by Seven Capital -with Chinese backed funding. Of course our new pride of place for the fabulous Grand Central, complete with the amazing John Lewis flagship store has put us on the shopping map.
Hs2 links with London are a (very real) mirage in the distance, but currently, I see the positive property market in Birmingham for home sellers- a reflection of the rejuvenation of the city itself, returning close to the peaks of a pre-recession 2007…..whisper it though.
Employment is up and now “we” are ranked 3rd in business psychologists OPP survey of the happiest cities in which to work. HSBC moving 1000 jobs here isn’t the only positive, Birmingham has become a magnate for other top companies as the likes of Deutsche Bank expands its Brindley Place operation and London based media giant Crave and Lamb choosing Birmingham’s Financial District as its new home-the city is also showing the highest growth in manufacturing and technology jobs in the UK outside London.
“Happy city”??? …well of course, the vibrancy and excitement of the city centre is back, from the Jewellery Quarter Golden Square through to the bohemian suburban Moseley village, voted by the Sunday Times in March 2015 as the best place to live in the country. The regeneration of iconic developments such as The Mailbox, the new Library and the upcoming £500m redevelopment of Paradise Circus by the town hall make Birmingham alive again. 
I mentioned investable!
Record sales figures we, as a company achieved in January 2016, have been strongly associated with new buy to let property investment in the city, in small part most recently due to the pending increase in Stamp duty levies for second home owners.
But put the business head on for a second-why is there so much “new money” being put in, why here?
A global survey of 300 cities by Jones Lang LaSalle recently, put Birmingham at number 53 for foreign direct investment. Add to this that official figures released by the Office for National Statistics placed UK economic growth at 0.5 per cent last quarter of 2015 - but experts from the Midlands Economic Forum and Birmingham City University (BCU) have shown the Midlands regional output grew 0.7 per cent. Birmingham was the only UK city in top 10 in which to invest in Europe in a report compiled by PwC and the Urban Land Institute, with London slipping to 15. All positive press.
Will more home sellers be happily saying “Hello from the other side” like Adele this Summer, after the government induced stamp duty increase for second home owners with a positive outlook?
Let me know if thinking of selling and we can discuss where your property sits in the market price wise and our strategy on how we work as your local Estate Agent to sell the property for you. Contact me at andy@jameslaurenceuk.comor at 0121 456 5454.
Andy McHugo
Senior Sales and Lettings Manager
James Laurence Sales and Lettings

Excellent customer feedback

Another satisfied customer

Great to hear that in the midst of a property scramble, a customer has taken time to go out of their way to advise our lettings manager on some excellent feedback for a team member:

Hi Jolene


A very quick message to pass on some feedback to you regarding Henry.


Yesterday I was in Birmingham for the day looking for an apartment as part of my relocation to the city for work.  I saw a total of 14 properties with a number of different agents throughout the day.  I must say that Henry's professionalism, attitude and quality of service totally outstripped those of any of your competitors.  It really was refreshing to experience this; and as such I thought I should share this with you (regardless of whether I end up going through you or another agent!)

Please pass on my thanks to Henry who is a credit to your team.

Kind Regards


A great compliment to hear. This is the dedication our team offers when accompanying viewings, and prove that good old fashioned qualities make the difference.
Great feedback Henry.
Looking to let a property? contact today for more information.


Christmas Opening hours

James Laurence Christmas Office Hours
Monday 21st December – Wednesday 23rd December 8.45am – 5.30pm
Thursday 24th December – Monday 28th December CLOSED
Tuesday 29th December OPEN 10am – 2pm
Wednesday 30th December – Sunday 3rd January CLOSED
RE-OPEN for business as usual on Monday 4thJanuary 2016
Out of hours EMERGENCY* CONTACT; 07718 565 943
*Please be advised if your property is NOT managed by James Laurence, and you request an emergency contractor you will be requested to pay the contractor upon arrival.
EMERGENCY REPAIRS INCLUDE: No Heating throughout the whole property, NoHot Water, Electrical Emergencies, A Flood, Broken Windows or issues that can be classed as either a Fire Risk or Health and Safety issue.
NON EMERGENCY REPAIRS INCLUDE: Request for Meter Readings, Replacement Fobs, General Repairs to Fixtures and Fittings, repairs or replacements to electrical items such as Kettles, toasters or microwaves etc

Should you require to call a locksmith due to being locked out of your property you will be required to cover costs for this service.

The budget's impact on Buy to Let landlords

Is yesterdays budget by George Osborne a game changer for buy to let landlords?

It has been confirmed in the Autumn statement 2015 by the Chancellor that Stamp duty costs will increase by 3% for buy to let landlords and people buying second homes from April 1st 2016.
Further to his summer Budget, whereby the chancellor said that landlords would only receive the basic rate of tax relief - 20% - on mortgage payments, a change being phased in from 2017 this is a further statement of intent from the government to potentially curtail the number of new landlords.

So how much will I have to pay?
From April 1st the stamp duty levy will increase as follows

  • Property purchase of £40,000 to £125,000 – Stamp Duty will be levied at 3% (currently 0%)
  • Up to £250,000 – 5% (currently 2%)
  • Up to £925,000 – 8% (currently 5%)
  • Up to £1.5m – 13% (currently 10%)
  • Over £1.5m – 15% (currently 12%).
  • For the average buy-to-let purchase of £184,000, that means they will pay an extra £5,520 from April 2016.
    How will this affect the property market?
    From the beginning of the next financial year expect less investors looking to buy properties. Sounds obvious, but the repercussion's of this are to the wider property market.
    This fast paced, all action market we have become spoilt by could well be reined, with those vendors waiting for extra pay pot of gold at the end of the rainbow now be left with a tough conundrum of will prices continue to climb or not.
    Investment led market places, such as Birmingham city centre for example where as many as 2 in 3 properties are tenanted, will more than likely see a decrease in sales or properties with tenants in situ. 
    Landlords looking to reduce their portfolios may look to cash in (as the savvy have probably already acted upon) to capitalize in what could be a frantic early January property doubt, come late March, residential property solicitors golf days may go out of the window with a rush of transaction completions. 

    Does anybody win?
    Potentially! For "Commercial investors" (landlords/companies with 15 properties or more, it could well be business as usual, as they are expected to be exempt from the changes. They could effectively have less competition for properties.
    It will be interesting to see if it means a more fluid supply of property for residential home owners, something lacking over the last 12 months.
    George Osborne says the new surcharge would raise £1bn extra for the Treasury by 2021.

    For what this means to you and your property, including future investments, please contact me in complete confidence as your local property agent, at or call 0121 456 5454.

    Andy McHugo
    Senior Sales and Lettings Manager