So you’ve managed to sort a graduate job in Birmingham? Great. Here comes the rest of your life. Now, don’t be too sore about not moving to London like all your accomplished graduate friends. Listen friends, Birmingham has been on a crazy upwards swing for the longest time. And it doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon.
That being said, it’s the perfect place to find your feet as a fully-functioning adult with a graduate job. And part of that is finding a place to lay your weary head to rest. Me being Debut’s resident Birmingham expert, here’s a handy list of place to live while hone your craft at a graduate job in Birmingham.
Avg. 1 bedroom rent (per calendar month): £532
Selly Oak is student-central, the primordial ooze from which most University of Birmingham grads like myself emerge. Selly is famed for a lot of things, not all of them positive, but one is them is the sheer number of affordable rented properties available, many newly built.
Landlords have flocked to this area faster than rowdy first years can move out of halls and become respectable second years, meaning that supply seems to always outweigh demand. The area itself is youthful, vibrant, full of specialist food and alcohol shops, and just 10 mins from the city centre. Perfect if you aren’t ready to say goodbye to the student life just yet.
Avg. 1 bedroom rent (per calendar month): £541
Older students who are tired of Selly Oak will head for Harborne, just a stone’s throw away. And it’s no wonder, it’s what people from further north from here would refer to as ‘dead classeh’.
Plenty of artisan pubs and fancy brunch spots to occupy yourself with here. But crucially, it’s not going to break the bank. Only slightly more expensive on average than Selly Oak, the trade off is being slightly less well connected but getting a noticeable higher quality of house in the bargain.
Avg. 1 bedroom rent (per calendar month): £749
Shoreditch, meet Digbeth, your Midlandsian cousin. A hop, skip and jump from Birmingham New Street, you’ll find this fiercely gentrified industrial quarter. We hope a graduate job in Birmingham pays well as it’s pricey as hell to live here. But at least you’ll never be bored. With all kinds of entertainment waiting in re-purposed warehouses and side streets, from the famous Custard Factory to the infamous Rainbow, it’s constantly lit.
Avg. 1 bedroom rent (per calendar month): £650
Like Digbeth, it’s central and a little on the pricey side. The Jewellery Quarter has become something of a hub for young professionals. The converted factories in this district house a whole host of new build flat, and great bars and restaurants orbit the residential areas. If you’re after cheap drinks and loft living, this is the place. It’s well suited for anybody doing a graduate job in Birmingham.
Avg. 1 bedroom rent (per calendar month): £578
Bournville is an idyllic village purpose built workers of Birmingham’s Cadbury factory. That factory now also plays host to Cadbury World, the UK’s premier chocolate-themed amusement park. Needless to say, that is plenty of fun weekend plans already made. The train station is on the mainline into town and just 12 mins out, but why is that important when you can literally live somewhere that literally smells like chocolate?
Avg. 1 bedroom rent (per calendar month): £502
Kings Heath is a little off the beaten track. It’s accessible mostly by Birmingham’s buses which are… well, bad (good thing Ubers are cheap and plentiful here). However, it’s a real hidden gem if you can get past that. Kings Heath features a modern high street where independent shops and chains sit side-by-side and there plenty of side streets with more of a hipster vibe. The crown jewel has to be the Hare and Hounds though, one of Birmingham’s best loved small music venues.
Avg. 1 bedroom rent (per calendar month): £523
Voted the best place to live in the UK by the Sunday Times in 2016, Moseley is a unique village with an artsy vibe. Its affordability is only matched by its attractions; great pubs and parks. Moseley Park itself is home to both Moseley Folk Festival and its Jazz and Soul Festival. It’s the perfect place to escape to after a long day’s work. This is probably your best chance to live a life like the one you read about in the Guardian.
Avg. 1 bedroom rent (per calendar month): £422
Okay, so it’s not technically in Birmingham, wise guy. But, it’s a cheaper option. And if you had to pick somewhere to commute in from, it might as well be here.
It’s well connected to Birmingham by a speedy and frequent Virgin Trains service and a brand new tram line that goes right from centre to centre in 40 minutes. All that aside, Wolverhampton is a neat city with plenty of Midlands charm to rival its big brother’s. If you can get into supporting the Wanderers and sampling a whole host of bars and galleries on the comeup, this is the place for you.
Images via Birmingham Mail / Wolverhampton Express and Star