Look out for Liverpool

The north-west U.K. city of Liverpool and its property market looks set to be one of the greatest beneficiaries of the HS3 high speed train link by 2030, according to The Northern Powerhouse report that was launched by U.K. Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin last week.

The Minister said the rail link will represent the most exciting thing to have happened to the north of England’s railways in decades, and analysis from real estate firm JLL has revealed that Liverpool looks set to be its greatest beneficiary.

Looking ahead as far as 2030, the JLL research has projected that unemployment in Liverpool will fall by 36 percent as a result of the planned HS3 rail network, which will stretch across the Pennines and connect the cities of Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Hull and Newcastle.

The impact on Liverpool’s unemployment rate is the most dramatic drop of any of the cities connected by the HS3 line, but the good news for potential property investors does not end there. Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport is also set to improve its travel offering, with plans for a hub link to Heathrow under consideration. If it happens, the plans would mean that business and leisure passengers could benefit from access to global flights through Heathrow, with a huge boost to Liverpool’s economy anticipated as a result.

With economic growth being a key driver of a robust property market, the transportation plans are excellent news for Liverpool’s accommodation sector, as Ray Withers, Chief Executive of specialist property investment company Property Frontiers, explained.

He said: “Liverpool is one of the most exciting cities in the north in terms of property investment right now. With the HS3 rail network plans and the hub link between Liverpool John Lennon Airport and London Heathrow, Liverpool is facing increased employment and enhanced prosperity. These factors lead to greater demand for premium housing, so now is the perfect time to invest.”

Right now high-end apartments, such as those at Parker Street, are particularly popular with buy-to-let investors looking for the optimum combination of sought after, city centre location and healthy yield.

The studios and one-bedroom apartments are on sale from £68,198 with 8 percent net yield for cash buyers. The L1 location will ensure that tenant demand is likely to remain strong, resulting in premium rental income.

Liverpool has already enjoyed the impact of some transportation infrastructure improvements, with the initial part of the refurbishment of Merseyrail’s five underground loop line stations already complete. The final station to be refurbished, Moorfields, will see work start next month, with the £8 million work completing the overall £40 million of the network’s upgrade.

Improving infrastructure and brightening economic prospects have served to make Liverpool’s businesses much happier and more confident over the past year. The 2014/2015 Liverpool Business Survey found that 76 percent of businesses scored Liverpool either four or five out of five, with 82 percent predicting economic growth over the next five years.

Happy companies mean happy workers and happy workers demand high quality accommodation. With many developments, such as those at Parker Street, that is just what Liverpool’s residents look like what they are going to get.

Andrew Batt, International Group Editor of PropertyGuru Group, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email andrew@propertyguru.com.sg