For generations, Liverpool was one of the world’s greatest port cities. In its prime, 40% of all world trade was passing through its docks. But in the second half of the 20th century, the rise of mechanised container shipping meant few jobs and bigger ships meant most of the modern shipping trade went to other ports in the UK.
Liverpool went into steep decline in the 70s and 80s, with the population halving. However, since the 90s, the city has benefited from millions in EU regional development funds and has once again started to establish itself as a major city power.
The previously derelict docks are being transformed and a new shipping terminal – one of the most advanced in northern Europe – looks to bring back its maritime glory days.
Liverpool has now become the UK’s second largest regional economy, worth more than £149 billion. Due to an influx of new businesses and a thriving tourism sector, the economy is growing an impressive 15% year-on-year.
Here we look at why Liverpool makes our list of top UK cities for property investment.
A Recipient of Billions in Investment
The £1bn Liverpool ONE – the nation’s largest open-air shopping centre – opened in 2008, cementing Liverpool as one of Europe’s leading retail and leisure destinations. Built around the waterfront, this 1.65m sq ft complex includes 170 shops, bars and restaurants, an 18-screen cinema, an indoor adventure golf course and a five-acre park.
The £5.5bn Liverpool Waters project will transform the city’s derelict docks into a sprawling commercial and residential waterfront space to rival the very best in Europe. When complete, the development will include 23,000 apartments and four hotels across 21m sq ft. It’s set to deliver 17,000 full-time jobs and bring the city’s much-loved docklands back to life.
In the north of the city, the £150m Great Homer Street development will bring new supermarkets and homes, as well as up to 1,000 jobs to this previously neglected area of Liverpool. Over 100 residential properties have already been built and the famous Greatie market given a new home.
The £2bn Knowledge Quarter plan will regenerate a huge swathe of Liverpool’s city centre, stretching from Lime Street to Kensington. Paddington Village is a key component of the plan, housing 1.8m sq ft of science, technology, education and health space. The world-renowned Royal College of Physicians is setting up their only centre of excellence outside London here.
A Vibrant Cultural Scene
Offering abundant art, culture and history, the birthplace of the Beatles attracts tourists in their droves, with a thriving year-round entertainment scene and a waterfront that was recently designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site. As the fourth most-visited city in the UK, the number of overseas visitors to Liverpool rose by a quarter from 2016 to 2017 with 839,000 visitors boosting the city’s economy by £358 million and supporting more than 50,000 jobs.
A Hotspot for Students
With four leading universities and a 90,000-strong student population, Liverpool offers a thriving and stable buy-to-let market with consistent healthy rental income and strong returns.
Low Property Prices
The average house price in Liverpool is around £173K, compared to the UK average of £310K. The city centre is the main attraction for developers. In particular, the L1, L2 and L3 postcodes. These cover the university, waterfront and “Three Graces” – a trio of early 20th-century buildings that includes the Grade 1-listed Royal Liver Building.
According to research by TotallyMoney, Liverpool has three of the top 10 most profitable postcodes for buy-to-let landlords, with annual yields of 11.79%, 11.59% and 9.36%.
The vast levels of recent investment combined with a large student population and consistently high rental yields make Liverpool ideal for property investment.
Here at Alesco, we have a wide range of exclusive opportunities in the city and elsewhere in the UK’s Northern Powerhouse; most are listed on our website here but to hear about our full range – including our off-market options – give us a call today or fill in your details below.