Liverpool property market outlook: What lies ahead?
With the appointment of the first Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, a snap general election taking place and Brexit negotiations now looming, it’s certainly been an eventful first half of 2017. Your Move brings a range of experts from across the area’s property sector together to give their view on how the market will move forward.
Curated by Lawrence Saunders
head of sales and marketing, Delph
At this time of extreme uncertainty in the wake of the general election, the Liverpool City Region’s property sector has to maintain focus and drive – we need stability, not shake-ups.
Liverpool’s economy is growing at one of the fastest rates in the UK, boosting demand for city centre accommodation from an increasingly wealthy and mobile workforce. It’s essential that the residential property supply in the city can meet this demand and underpin economic recovery.
We need housing and infrastructure investment to top our new Metro Mayor’s list of priorities, with plans here being driven forward regardless of what’s happening in Whitehall.
As we wait to see exactly what our new government will look like, what impact the hung parliament will have on Brexit negotiations and even whether or not we’ll be going to the polls once more, it’s difficult to predict how the property sector will fare in the long term.
With politicians focusing attentions elsewhere, commitments to UK housing strategy and the Northern Powerhouse agenda could be at risk.
It’s imperative that, once the new government is fully established, commitment to housing reform and infrastructure investment in the North is reaffirmed as both will have a bearing on the future of the city region property sector and economic success of Liverpool.
partner and head of residential, MSB Solicitors
We’ve seen a slight slowdown in new residential instructions by around 15% on the same period last year, but given the continued uncertainty it’s to be expected.
Many would-be homebuyers and sellers are more hesitant than they may have been in the past. Perhaps we can put it down to people considering their next move or biding their time but people remain reluctant to stretch themselves.
The outcome of the general election won’t help speed things up again anytime soon – uncertainty prevails and people don’t like uncertainty. We’re facing unanswered questions, fluctuating interest rates and a swerving appetite from banks to lend.
And whilst both Conservative and Labour have continued their commitment to constructing new and affordable homes, more must be done to accelerate the second-hand market.
Meanwhile the 3% stamp duty increase was introduced as a measure to prevent the buy-to-let market from overheating and in that sense has served its purpose. Given the market has since slowed anyway, I’d certainly want to see some reassessment of stamp duty costs from our new government.
managing director, Luxor Group
Despite the election being called to remove all uncertainty as we enter Brexit negotiations, it has resulted in a hung parliament leaving the UK in a state of limbo.
This result adds yet more uncertainty to the property sector going forward as investment and business decisions are likely to be put on hold – not an appealing prospect for the construction and housebuilding sectors.
With housing minister Gavin Barwell losing his seat it’ll be interesting to see what happens to the Housing White Paper. The paper had a number of good policies, especially the shift in rhetoric away from home ownership and its focus on investment into the private rented sector.
Whoever forms the next government should build on these policies and reaffirm these commitments to avoid further disruption.
Forming a coalition is certainly not the outcome the property market had hoped for. In the coming weeks there needs to be greater transparency around the Brexit negotiations to deliver confidence and stability for UK and overseas investors.
director, John Kerr Accountants
At the time of writing it’s immensely difficult to make predictions as to the economy and the outlook for the property sector in general.
Whilst the election of the Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor will be good news in terms of focus on regional infrastructure, we have now entered a period of extreme political uncertainty which is always bad for business and investment – especially with Brexit in the mix.
However, the North West property sector has proved itself to be pretty resilient in the past and I dare say it will do so going forwards. Hold on to your hats!
sales director, Elan Homes in the North
The housing shortage and people’s housing needs remain the same, regardless of an election. Even a hung parliament and Brexit negotiations won’t impact on the gap between supply and demand and buyers’ needs.
Help to Buy remains available in the marketplace and is set to stay until 2020, giving buyers the chance to take out an equity loan to reduce the initial cost of homeownership and with a smaller deposit than those who buy on the open market.
Interest rates remain low and while there were predictions they’d rise next year, economists are now forecasting that rates won’t increase until 2019 so, in fact there has never been a better time to buy.
office manager, Sutton Kersh
The ‘wait and see’ attitude adopted by buyers and sellers in the run up to the general election may go on a little longer than first expected. A snap election meant a shorter run up to polling day, giving less time for impact, if any, on the market.
In light of the election’s shock result all eyes are on the government and there will be some who may want to wait until things settle down a bit but I don’t think this will be for long.
The result won’t have any effect on sales already going through and those who need to sell and buy will carry on as normal.
We are becoming used to political change and once normality has resumed it will be business as usual. We may even see a surge in activity in the next few months.
There are interesting times ahead, indeed.
managing director, Anwyl Construction
Liverpool and the city region have issues with a lack of housing and there’s a need for this in both the private and social housing sectors.
There are also significant challenges to the construction industry locally with a shortage of skilled workers and a need for government support with policies that maintain and encourage investment in the construction and housing markets.
There are also exciting opportunities here and we have two flagship projects in Liverpool – a £60 million eco-friendly residential complex in Pall Mall and a £40m student development on Norton Street which form part of an exciting regeneration of the city.
The messages coming from the new Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor are very positive, including his support for a ‘green’ agenda and for improved transport and infrastructure, and alongside these there should be a commitment to high quality construction.