Yves here. I have not checked the state of the rental market, since Birmingham routinely has high rent relative to purchase prices. That may be a big reason the housing market here is very strong. Not bidding wars, but brokers seem to have a finely-tuned sense of where to price a house and they usually sell very quickly, without an open house, at or a tiny bit above the asking price. 15 viewings will regularly yield 4-5 offers.
What are conditions like in your area, for rentals and buys?