So, you see this headline in the Birmingham Mail: Revealed: The most expensive areas to rent in Birmingham.
You would be forgiven for thinking the rest of the article continued with a list of the usual suspects (Harborne, Sutton Coldfield, etc.). In other words, it would definitely omit Digbeth, but wait…
Digbeth is one of the most expensive places to rent in Birmingham?!
“Digbeth’s old industrial buildings have been regenerated into apartments, retail premises, offices and art facilities… [which] has led to the district becoming a trendy hotspot for young professionals and creatives… This mix of culture and history has meant the area has become one of the most desirable places to live in Birmingham for many and this demand has seen rents skyrocket.”
This is the list of “average rents” given in the article:
- Harborne: £906 pcm
- Digbeth: £1,342 pcm
- Sutton Coldfield: £1,399 pcm
- Selly Oak: £1,588 pcm
Firstly, I have an issue with the term “average”, mainly because it neglects to consider what is an average property in each area. Are we talking two bedroom flats or four bedroom detached houses? Or have the journalistic heights of the Birmingham Mail simply taken apples and compared them to pears?
This, unfortunately, would not surprise me in the least. I would not even be surprised if the journalists included industrial-sized warehouses and commercial properties in their calculations for average rents in Digbeth, which is the only way I could see the average cost of a rental property in this area reaching over £1,300 per month.
To my knowledge, the average property in Digbeth is somewhere between a one to two bedroom flat. An average property in Selly Oak is probably a three bedroom terrace house. These are not comparable dwellings. And if you’re paying £1,342 a month for a one bedroom apartment in Digbeth, seriously have a word with your joker of a landlord. Please.
The main problem with this sort of journalism is that it will discourage people wanting to live in Digbeth from even researching properties in the area. For the record, a quick check on Right Move shows one bed flats from £650 to around £795 for a two bedroom apartment, which is half the amount quoted by the Birmingham Mail.
It is reporting like this that I point to when people question my disdain for our most popular local newspaper. Slow clap for the Birmingham Mail, the last bastion of professional journalism.