City Res: Liverpool 2009 apartment market one to forget

Michael Hunt

City Residential has said 2009 was a year to forget for the apartment market in the city centre of Liverpool but stability was shown in some areas.

The firm's report for the fourth quarter of 2009 shows a continued trend on overall prices falling but at a much slower rate than during the third quarter.

Falls over the quarter stood at -0.64% on the samples taken by the agency and annually were down -8.46%.

Alan Bevan, director of City Residential, said: "The fourth quarter of 2009 has seen a continuation of the trend experienced throughout most of the year. It ended with prices showing minimal movement from Q3 except where values have fallen in some of the newer docklands schemes around Princes Dock."

Bevan said as prices reduced buyers have entered the market in increased numbers when compared to the same period in 2008.

The report said apartments in the docklands were being bought at auction for more than the guide price with a two-bed apartment at City Quay, including parking, being sold for £20,000 more than its guide price.

Within the rental market it showed continued stability with a strong demand for properties in general.

Bevan said: "The quarter ended with continued stability in rents with some slight upswing in city centre rents offset by a slight movement downwards in docklands where an increased supply was to blame.

"Considering that there was a substantial increase in supply during 2009 with the likes of Alexandra Tower, One Park West, Elysian Fields, Park Lane Plaza the market has performed extremely well."

Bevan is optimistic about 2010 but does not believe there will be much real growth in the city centre housing market over the next 12 months.

In his summary, he said: "There is no doubt that we are not out of the woods yet. Whilst the general economic recovery has surprised many, there are tough times ahead."

"In respect of the city centre housing market we are hopeful we have seen the worst conditions from a transactions viewpoint, although we are skeptical that there will be any real growth over the coming twelve months.

"So au revoir to 2009, a year to forget. It could have been worse but there is no doubt it will not be a year too many people will remember with fondness."

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