City Res: students give lettings market a boost

There has been greater demand for rental property in Liverpool's city centre residential market during the third quarter of the year, according to the latest report by local agents City Residential.

Alan Bevan, director of City Residential, said: "Our headline this time last year was 'oversupply of apartments…maybe not' commenting on the massive surge of students into the city centre and filling most of the supply in the market. Again we had high hopes that we would see the same demand during the busy three months leading up to the start of term in September. Well if anything the demand this year has been even greater than last year with an unprecedented number of new and existing tenants choosing to live in the city centre and docklands.

"Although there has been a reasonable increase in supply over the last 12 months it has not managed to keep pace with the increased demand. As we have reported previously the massive improvements the city centre has seen appears to be continuing to attract more people wanting to live and enjoy all of the new facilities. This resulted in an amazing predicament where the market actually nearly ran out of apartments to let. We even saw some students taking properties in the docklands even though they would prefer to be in the city centre closer to the universities.

"Whilst this surge in supply has not resulted in a huge uplift in prices it is great news for landlords and investors. We have always advised our buyers to budget for a 4-6 week void in their rental property."

Bevan added he is beginning to see an increase in supply with completions coming on line at Waterside, Kings Dock Mill and Mann Island.

The report also said there has been a slight increase in population numbers due to more tenants at the buildings like Alexandra Tower, Hilton Apartments, The Albany, Kings Dock Mill, and Bispham House.

The report claims students account for around 10,329 of the city centre population.

On residential sales, Bevan said there continues to be low activity with the report stating the average price of a city centre apartment is £127,950, which is a drop of 6.29% on the average price during the same period 12 months ago.

Bevan suggests that potential buyers are "concerned for their own jobs, incomes and futures" in the lead up to the Government's forthcoming spending review and it might be a reason for the low activity in sales.

He concluded: "The strength in the lettings market is therefore a great relief for landlords and investors. The surge in new and existing tenants choosing the city centre has continued and indeed surpassed last year's levels.

"With the strength of the lettings market and lack of new build, unlikely for next five years, what is likely to happen to the supply demand equilibrium. It doesn't take an economics degree to figure it out does it? So 'The tale of two markets' one great, lettings, and one not so great, sales, continues and given the short to medium term prospects we may be saying the same this time next year."

The report is published by City Residential in association with PR agency Paver Smith.

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