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What’s really been going on in resi property in Liverpool?

What’s really been going on in resi property in Liverpool?

In our latest look at the residential property market in Liverpool, Helen Griffin-Booth looks back at what has been a buoyant few months for the city’s industry…

Some of the headlines around property in the broader press may have been about fearmongering and discussion over whether our industry should actually even be open but the reality working in the industry has been very different.

My property colleagues will say the same, we’ve done everything required to help put everyone we work with at ease and that’s been our priority. Simultaneously, we’ve witnessed one of the busiest periods in the market across Liverpool for a decade.

There has been plenty of appetite in the market from buyers to the point that many vendors are enjoying the luxury of having on average, four decent offers for every house being sold and the ball has been very much in their court. There continues to be strong demand for freehold houses too. The interest has come from first time buyers, new and experienced investors alike.

Supply has been boosted by the number of landlords looking to reconcile their portfolios – some are keen to sell given the challenges of the pandemic and the rental market. Given that Liverpool still undercuts the national average on prices, good quality, well established stock with low interest rates has made property transactions here a very attractive prospect.

The government’s budget announcement declaring a stamp duty holiday will encourage more buyers to enter the market too. And instead of talk about the pipeline of new developments slowing down, that’s not been the case as demonstrated by the activity within Liverpool’s planning department! Landlords and developers will have been buoyed by the government support for first time buyers with a new mortgage guarantee scheme encouraging lenders to offer 95% mortgages. This will enable those buyers to tackle the issue of deposits, often the hurdle that prevents more demand in the sector because more people simply haven’t been able to access the housing ladder.

A bit more about Stamp duty…news has dominated residential property market headlines over the last quarter with the government finally putting the debate amongst commentators to bed. This is a direct result of the hard work Propertymark and its members’ dedication put into their property tax extension campaign. The Chancellor listened and implemented a tapered end to the stamp duty holiday.

The nil rate band up to £500,000 now ends on 30 June, instead of March. A transitional nil rate band up to £250,000 is now in place until September and then returns to £125,000 from October. The extension to the end of June, followed by the transition to the end of September, is much needed to help prevent sales falling through as the initial deadline approaches. That’s a great result for the sector.

Finally, on the wider economy in Liverpool, and in spite of the gloom nationally, the city’s economy and employment base is still set to grow over the next two years with GVA growth being forecast at 1.8% a year.

Employment growth for the city is likely to come from the human health and social work, and public administration sectors as well as property. The professional, scientific and technical along with wholesale and retail sectors will be the most dynamic in the region, with the latter benefitting in the near-term from pent-up demand, according to the latest reports. I’m keeping my glass half full as always!