There have been many positive changes to Liverpool over the last 20 years. Hundreds of millions of pounds of investment has poured into new developments and regeneration of previously rundown areas of the city. The business community is booming, demand for private rental properties is at an all-time high and many believe this trend will continue for years to come. There is no doubt that Liverpool is now in the league with Manchester, Newcastle and Birmingham, often referred to as the “Northern powerhouses”.
While the UK economy may be struggling, the number of high-growth businesses has returned to levels not seen for a long time. Liverpool now has the highest proportion of fast-growing firms in the UK with numbers increasing by 56% between 2009 and 2015. When you compare this to a study back in 2014 by the ERC, which suggested that start-up companies in Liverpool had the lowest chance of survival across UK cities, the tide really has turned.
The Liverpool economy now sees an average annual growth rate of 4.8% over the last 18 years. While much focus is placed upon the new wave of start-ups, it is worth remembering that there are also a large number of more traditional companies operating out of Liverpool. It is this mix of old and new businesses which offers a unique environment for property investors and property developers.
A growing business community and an increase of 20% in student numbers over the last 12 months have led to extremely strong demand for private rental properties. While student-focused HMOs have been in the headlines for some time, there is now a growing trend towards shared occupancy amongst young professionals. As the local economy continues to strengthen, house prices are being pushed beyond the affordability of many young professionals who are now looking towards shared occupancy.
The average house price in Liverpool increased by 7.8% to reach £115,700 in the 12 months to February 2018. As the Liverpool economy continues to grow, regeneration and investment continues to flow towards the city centre and the docklands. The docklands in particular is a much sought after part of the city with property developers offering a wide range of residential opportunities for both investors and tenants.
Even though the uncertainty of Brexit continues to wreak havoc on the UK economy, property developers in Liverpool are unable to satisfy existing demand, never mind further forecasted increases in the short, medium and long-term. As a consequence, demand for quality shared occupancy developments is likely to remain high for some time to come.