16 Things Property Investors Should Know About …. Liverpool

16 Things Property Investors Should Know About …. Liverpool

Analysis, Background, Investment, Market Research

* Liverpool’s population of 470,000 is only around half its population in the years between the war – making it one of  the few UK cities to actually get smaller over the years. The population is now expanding again, although only slowly.

* As well as the city of Liverpool itself the Liverpool area comprises the separate metropolitan boroughs of Knowsley and Sefton, the separate town of St. Helens and Wirral, across the River Mersey.

* With a GVA of £13.7bn (Centre for Cities 2014 figures) Liverpool is the tenth largest economic area in the country.

*Liverpool is one of the UK’s largest ports and also one of the largest centres for motor manufacturing. These industries employ 6,000 and 7,000 people respectively directly and tens of thousands more indirectly. Other key industries are food processing, chemicals, retail/distribution and financial and business services.

* Liverpool has a growing tourist industry, with large numbers attracted by its music, sporting and historical attractions. Official figures claim the city attracts 75 million tourist visits annually.

* The Mersey Waters Enterprise Zone is the UK’s largest by area. It includes Liverpool Waters just north of the city itself and Wirral Waters across the River Mersey.

* Liverpool is home to one of the UK’s longest established urban regeneration projects (the Albert Dock). The waterfront has been substantially regenerated over the last 30 years and there are plans to do much more and create a waterfront area to rival the world’s leading waterfront cities.

(What’s been done already is really quite impressive …. well worth a visit if you haven’t been.)

* Peel Ports’ Liverpool 2 deep water port facility at Seaforth is one of the most important commercial developments in the whole north west region. The new port will be able to handle the world’s largest container ships and the aim is to attract ships from ports in the south of England to Liverpool.

Liverpool 2 is due to open in 2017.

* Liverpool already has a metro mayor, who was elected in 2012.Tthe Liverpool City Region Combined Authority agreed a devolution deal with the government in 2015 which will see a directly elected mayor for the entire region, with more powers than the current mayor, take office in 2017.

* A new electrified rail service to Manchester came into service in 2015. This has cut the fastest journey time to around 30 minutes – a big improvement on the previous, outdated service.

There are very early plans to build a new high speed rail line to Manchester which would cut the journey to 20 minutes and connect up with HS2 to London and HS3 to Yorkshire (assuming they’re built of course).

* Liverpool has the lowest employment rate in the UK, and one of the highest benefits claimant counts.

* Liverpool is one of the few places in the UK which has too much housing (if not of the right type in the right location). The city has Liverpool has one of the highest levels of empty homes in the UK. There are 8,500 empty homes across Merseyside as a whole. Liverpool City Council has operated a ‘homes for a pound’ scheme to try and bring some of these homes back into use (and with some success).

There’s still a shortage of housing that people want and need however – there’s a local authority waiting list of over 12,000.

* Liverpool is a major student centre with over 50,000 students in the city itself. There are five universities. The University of Liverpool is one of the most highly regarded and sought after universities in the country. Liverpool John Moores University also enjoys very high levels of student demand.

* Reports from local agents suggest that there could be too much student housing – specifically purpose built student housing in the city centre – in the future.

* A landlord licensing scheme operates in the city of Liverpool, which was introduced in 2015. This means that every landlord must have a licence (which lasts for five years) for every property they own.

Some commentators are suggesting that this could reduce the supply of property to let and so push up rents in some areas in future. (And also improve yields for investors who buy here.

* Liverpool is one of the cheapest places to buy property in the north west, and also one of the cheapest in the UK. The current average property price is £94,244 (Land Registry figures), a 4.7% rise over the year. Properties for investment start at as little as £10,000.

Average property prices in the adjacent boroughs of Sefton, Knowsley and Wirral are typically 20-25% more than in Liverpool itself.

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