From spacious family homes in the suburbs to stylish city centre apartments, Liverpool’s diverse property offering has something to suit every budget and requirement. Over the last decade the city has been transformed with new developments popping up with increasing regularity. To help you decide where best to set up home, Your Move has scoured the city to produce a handy guide to Liverpool’s best spots for a range of house hunters.
Taking that first step on the property ladder has always been difficult and with house prices at their highest since 2007 and a seeming lack of affordable homes on the market, things don’t appear to be getting any easier.
One way for first-time buyers to get hold of a property is through the government’s Help to Buy scheme. Since it was launched in 2013, Help to Buy has supported more than 400 mortgages here in Liverpool.
New build developments such Norris Green Village (NGV), Conleach Park in Speke and Grafton Park in Toxteth have seen a surge in first-time buyers securing a home through the Help to Buy initiative.
These developments have become thriving communities often populated by young couples and families with plenty of green space to enjoy and also benefit from excellent transport links.
Liverpool’s rental market has come along way over the last decade. One trend in particular which has been gathering pace recently has been the rise of Private Rented Sector (PRS) schemes.
Tenants at PRS developments enjoy a hotel-like experience with an enticing package included with their monthly rent including features such as on-site gym access, secure allocated parking and a 24-hour concierge service.
A number of PRS schemes have been popping up across the city centre in particular. The Keel waterfront development at the former HMRC building is one notable example, with more in the pipeline nearby including Baltic Village, a £50 million scheme which is expected to be completed later this year.
PRS schemes in the main have been appearing just outside of the city centre offering residents the convenience of being able to walk into town without the noise problems that can come from living near popular nightspots.
For many people with growing families, having the security and peace of mind that comes with owning your own home is essential.
However, with house prices rising steadily since 2007 and the lack of good-sized homes for affordable prices in certain areas of Liverpool, there is now an increasing demand from families for rented accommodation.
One area which is experiencing this trend and has also been historically very popular with families is Allerton. With its excellent choice of both primary and secondary schools alongside a wealth of shops, bars and quality restaurants it’s easy to see why.
“In Allerton we have seen a significant rise in rentals. They used to be mainly owner occupied but the trend is changing rapidly,” says Caroline Romano-Smith, lettings negotiator at Sutton Kersh.
Matthew Blower, lettings lister at Jones & Chapman agrees.
“I have noticed a trend, particularly since the housing market crash, of families renting in the Allerton area,” says Matthew.
“The average price for the likes of the ‘dale roads’ for three-bedroom semis has increased from around £550 pcm in 2000 to £800 pcm today.”
A report by Centre for Cities found that between 2001 and 2011, the number of 22 to 29-year-olds living in Liverpool city centre almost quadrupled.
It’s not just the influx of students to the city which is behind this. The increase in former office space in the commercial sector being redeveloped into residential property has significantly upgraded the city centre’s property offering.
Conversions have been accelerated following the introduction of temporary permitted development rights in 2013 – allowing commercial office space to be transformed into housing without having to gain planning consent.
Following the news last year that the lifting of the planning restrictions was to be made permanent, a host of conversions are now in the pipeline including 2 Moorfields, a vacant 1980’s office building which has been planned since 2014.
Living in the commercial sector gives young professionals the obvious benefit of being close to work, therefore eliminating transport costs. Other benefits include links to the rest of the region by rail and being just a short walk from the shops and restaurants of Liverpool ONE.
Second year students in Liverpool have historically had two options after spending their first year in halls. You get together with your new friends and find yourself a house of multiple occupancy (HMO) either around Smithdown Road or Kensington.
However in recent years there is evidence to suggest that this previously well-worn path is beginning to fade as more and more students choose to relocate to the bright lights of the city centre.
This trend of students staying central is something Laura Irving, business development manager at Haus Liverpool, has noticed.
“We have seen a real change in student preferences for accommodation over the last few years,” says Laura.
“The demand from students for property around Smithdown Road and Wavertree has been dying down over the past couple of years,” adds Beckie Cosgrove, letting co-ordinator at Keppie Massie Residential.
Students who do choose to make their base in the city centre have a wealth of options to pick from, with new developments being announced at a rapid rate.
Developments such at Vita Student on Crosshall Street and X1 The Studios on the waterfront offer students the security that comes with serviced accommodation alongside the convenience of being within walking distance of both universities and all the delights of the city centre.
Deciding where to live following retirement can be tricky. It’s important to bear in mind several factors when choosing both a property and an area in Liverpool.
One option which is becoming more popular is purchasing a home through Older Person’s Shared Ownership (OPSO).
Just like standard Shared Ownership, you buy an initial share that you can afford, helping you get into home ownership in manageable stages. The main difference is the maximum share you can ever own through OPSO is 75%.
The housing association or registered provider will offer initial shares of between 25% and 75% of the full purchase price. Prospective homeowners then pay a subsidised rent on the remaining share.
As the rental portion is government subsided, it’s cheaper than paying a traditional mortgage on the full property value.
“We have seen an increase in demand,” says David Robinson from Riverside Home Ownership. “With the elderly population growing and the scarcity of suitable retirement properties, OPSO homes have become even more attractive.”
Joseph Williams Mews in Belle Valle is one new development specifically designed for over 55’s which is proving popular. Mostly made up of bungalows, with some apartments, the homes at Joseph Williams Mews offer wheelchair access, level access and wet rooms.
Nearby Belle Vale Shopping Centre boasts an impressive range of stores along with regular bus services to the city centre and Runcorn.