“Digbeth is simply Divine to young urbanites and investors alike”

This week, we received an email on behalf of Property Frontiers, which spouted so much marketing speak it made me feel uneasy.

“Digbeth, which is increasingly referred to as ‘Birmingham’s Shoreditch’, is an area on the up. Hip bars and arty coffee shops rub shoulders with independent stores and some of the funkiest clubs in the UK’s second city.”

Digbeth is Digbeth bab – Shoreditch we are not. Although the email was clearly written for people who have never set foot in our part of the city, it did offer us the first glimpses into what the apartments at St Anne’s Court – the new development between St Anne’s Church and Fabrick Square – may look like:

Although this is what the Divine Collection (a “hand-picked selection of 30 apartments will offer sophisticated, elegant homes to just the kind of tenant looking for something a cut above the rest in Digbeth”) may look like, it’s still indicative of the likely finish on all the apartments.

Behold more sales speak and pictures:

“Digbeth is turning into Birmingham’s most stylish location… There’s a really unique vibe to the area and always something going on. It’s so much more than a 9-5 destination, which is why so many professionals are looking to make it their home, as well as the place they work.”

This email raised a few concerns with me. Firstly, it is clearly aimed at investors – something that is not in-keeping with the ideals of creating a living community. The worry is that all the properties will be snapped up by rich landlords wanting to line their pockets (even) more, before first-time or private buyers get a chance. Although not completely evil, with most of the properties owned by investors, there will inevitably be fewer people electing to live in Digbeth long-term, thus creating a transient population which is not conducive to the feeling of community.

Secondly, with prices starting at £159,500 for a one-bedroom apartment, I really wonder about the affordability of the flats. From the plans, we know that the vast majority of apartments at St Anne’s Court will have just one bedroom, and are not overwhelming sizeable either. Does £160 grand sound affordable for first time buyers? It doesn’t fill me with the largest amount of confidence.

Nevertheless, construction is moving along at St Anne’s Court, and we hope to start welcoming new neighbours to Digbeth from early 2018. To read the full press release, click here.

Pamela Pinski

Digbeth and Proud

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