Property to Rent Liverpool, Letting Agents Liverpool - Housepoint
Liverpool is the buy-to-let Hotspot in the UK

Bumper buy-to-let yields have made Liverpool popular with landlords because prices are low and city centre homes are in short supply

Liverpool is emerging as one of the unexpected rental hotspots, popular with UK landlords and overseas buyers; both groups are keen on the bumper yields from the city’s flats. The purchasers include many Chinese people who are drawn by Liverpool’s bargain-priced property. A flat can cost as little as £80,000 and the rent can be as high as £600 a month.

Indeed there is a rumour that the student sons and daughters of wealthy Chinese families arrive at Liverpool John Lennon Airport with suitcases stuffed with cash to be spent on homes.

About 60 per cent of the flats at One Park West, a mixed-use scheme with 326 flats designed by Cesar Pelli, the Argentinian architect, are occupied by Chinese people. This building is part of Liverpool One, a scheme with shops and restaurants that caused a rumpus when it was proposed but is now helping to regenerate the heart of Liverpool.

Many Chinese youngsters are attending one of the city’s three universities: the student population is one reason why demand for homes is so high. There are also numerous young professionals who cannot afford to buy in the city centre and rent instead, drawn by the restaurants, shops and nightclubs, including the Hilton Hotel Playground club, a celeb hotspot frequented by footballers.

With all this activity, it’s becoming hard to remember that just six years ago Liverpool’s property market was in the doldrums, with as many as 35 per cent of apartments standing empty.

Since then, however, there has been hardly any construction, which has led to a lack of supply, forcing up demand.

The new-build flats that nobody wanted in 2008 have either been rented or sold, albeit at lower prices. West Tower, Liverpool’s tallest high-rise, typifies this trend. The 40-storey block was completed in 2007. The companies that controlled it — Mapfield and West Tower Ltd — went into administration in 2011, after just 17 of the 123 two-bedroom flats were sold.

In December last year, Delph Property Group of London acquired the freehold of the building and bought the block. In the two months since then, 22 of the flats have been sold, half of them bought by the tenants who were living in them. “This is phenomenal,” says Martyn Green of Jones Lang LaSalle, the estate agency handling the property. “Many schemes would not sell that in a year.”

Affordable prices are key to the revival. In general, a one-bedroom flat in the city costs between £80,000 and £100,000 and two-bedroom flats are selling from £120,000 to £200,000. Few flats sell for more than £750,000.

The universities have helped to revive the fortune of the Liverpool housing market, although prices still stand well below those of the peak. New shops at Liverpool One and the Metquarter, a smaller mall, have also played a part, as have transport improvements.

The clamour for accommodation in Liverpool is part of a wider trend in Northern cities. The availability of slick contemporary apartments has made inner-city living attractive, pulling people back in from the suburbs.

“Each time more new-build went up more people moved in,” says Stuart Law of Assetz, the property investment group.

The question now is whether demand will spur a new wave of construction. There are several huge sites on which development is proposed, including Liverpool Waters, a Peel Group regeneration of the northern dock area that includes the 50-storey Shanghai Tower.

Peel is also proposing an international trade centre at Birkenhead to encourage Chinese and South Korean businesses to make Wirral their gateway to the UK.

Law, however, argues that building companies are still nervous about large new schemes, fearing another crisis, and that the banks are unwilling to lend for the same reason. The shortage of apartments seems set to be a feature of Liverpool life for some time to come, meaning a continual boom for the rental market.








Written By: Claire Carponen