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Liverpool's 'mini boom' is driving up house prices in three postcodes

Liverpool Echo logo Liverpool Echo 4 days ago Emilia Bona

Whether you're buying, selling or just browsing, you'll probably have noticed the 'mini boom' that's going on in Liverpool's property market right now.

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted us all to ask ourselves some big questions about where we want to live, what we want our homes to look like, and how much inside or outside space we need.

Despite so much uncertainty, people are snapping up properties almost as soon as they come on the market with plenty of buyers looking to move fast.

The ECHO recently reported on the changes in Liverpool's owner occupier housing market, with a sudden surge in demand.

The housing market in England reopened on May 13 - and there was uncertainty among estate agents and buyers alike as to how the industry would truly be affected by the continued pandemic.

While some anticipated the ongoing crisis would dampen the mood for moving, the opposite actually turned out to be true, with a huge surge in demand across the board.

If you want to check out what's on the market in your area or compare house prices, you can use our dedicated property tool here:

Everyone from first time buyers spurred on to save during lockdown right up to house hunters looking for properties in the £1 million bracket all seem keen to move.

But one area that's also seeing its own 'mini boom' is the buy to let market, with investors drawn in by the good yields on properties in Liverpool.

This surge in demand from investors has had a knock-on effect on house prices - with three areas of the city in particular benefiting from this increased interest.

We spoke to James Kersh, managing director of Sutton Kersh, about Liverpool's 'mini boom' and what it could mean for house prices in your local area.

More than £9 million worth of property sold at auction

For the majority house hunters, buying a property will involve looking through local listings or registering interest with an estate agent to try and find the perfect home.

Most of us will never set foot in a property auction, which offers a whole different world when it comes to snapping up real estate.

Sutton Kersh holds monthly auctions, most recently online only to comply with coronavirus regulations, and they attract a different sort of buyer.

Speaking to the ECHO, Mr Kersh said: "We are mainly talking about the investors market - we do get owner occupiers buying at auction but the majority is landlord and investor-led, both locally and external.

"They are coming here because yields are still very attractive compared to down south. Liverpool as a city should be complimented on its regeneration which has been going on since I've been in business here, so that's going back 25 to 30 years.

"Yields are still attractive and prices are still cheap compared to the market elsewhere."

Sutton Kersh's first post-lockdown auction, held on July 16, resulted in them selling over £9 million worth of property.

One lot in the auction, a three-bedroom townhouse in L15, sold for a whopping £43,000 over the guide price, with an L3 terrace house even attracting a 'bidding war' before selling for £37,000 over the guide price.

Mr Kersh explained that this is reflective of the 'mini boom' Liverpool's property market is currently seeing, saying: "I think we've seen sort of a steady flow of demand and probably supply just slightly behind demand which is pushing up prices steadily.

"We never really saw a drop off in terms of activity in lockdown. This is a pandemic not a financial crisis or a recession like we have seen in the past.

"This is a different type of trauma in the market but it's not affecting prices. It's affecting people's behaviour because they are buying.

"We had 500 people registering for our auction in July offering 130 lots, so that's a significant number of people registering and that's definitely up there with the increase in demand."

He added: "Sold prices have increased and are selling above reserve - I think the vacant houses are getting more interest and selling for more mostly because investors are looking at buy to lets or conversion to HMO investments which have a higher rent return and yield.

"Three bed residential properties are also in high demand across the region and also appear to be selling for the asked price and many of them selling above too. Our auction on July 16 saw a considerable percentage of residential properties selling for at least £20,000 over their guide price."

The three areas where investors are desperate to buy and how house prices could rocket

With so much interest in the Liverpool property market, some areas are proving particularly popular with investors hoping to snap up a bargain.

These areas tend to be clustered on the fringe of the city centre, with prospective landlords looking to make the most of developments in the city.

Looking at the trends from Sutton Kersh's recent auctions and sales, Mr Kersh identified three postcodes where demand is rocketing.

Mr Kersh said: "As a city expands, the areas on the fringe of the city centre are the first areas to see an increase in prices and that's the pattern.

"Kensington is a real example of that in terms of prices - investment in the hospital and trickle down affect of that development has happened that area is on the fringe of the city.

"Also L8, Toxteth, and further afield in Bootle has seen a real attraction and it's difficult to say why but that's a case of an area which has always been a little bit suppressed in terms of investors and demand.

"If in Kensington yields have gone down a bit or gone into HMO then you look at alternative locations to invest."

Mr Kersh also pointed to Anfield and Wavertree as areas seeing the biggest boom, as they are more suited for student lets and not far from the city.

And while rising prices have an impact on investors looking to buy into the local property market, they're good new for owner occupiers living in the area - especially if they're looking to sell up and move.

Mr Kersh said: "I think it has a general affect on prices in those areas. If you happen to be an owner occupier in an area with a surge in investor demand then lucky you, that's going to be good.

"It doesn't always mean that - it's a heavy mix of owner occupiers and investor owned stock."

Mr Kersh also pointed to other areas of the city where owner occupiers have "priced landlords out of the market", like Mossley Hill and Allerton where prices have now become too expensive for landlords to get a good deal.

With changes in the market for everyone from owner occupiers to investors, it's a time of massive flux for anyone buying and selling property on Merseyside.

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