The Northern Powerhouse report, launched by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin last week, represents “the most exciting thing to have happened to the north of England’s railways in decades”, says Property Frontiers.
Analysis from JLL has shown that Liverpool looks set to be the scheme’s greatest beneficiary, with unemployment predicted to fall by 36% in 2030 as a result of the planned high-speed rail network, which will stretch across the Pennines and connect the cities of Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Hull and Newcastle. Speeds of up to 140 mph mean that travellers could be whisked from Liverpool to Manchester in as little as 20 minutes.
The impact on Liverpool’s unemployment rate is the most dramatic drop of any of the cities to be connected by the HS3 line, while the city’s John Lennon Airport is also set to improve its travel offering, with plans for a hub link to Heathrow under consideration.
Ray Withers, Chief Executive of specialist property investment company Property Frontiers, hails the plans as “excellent news” for Liverpool’s accommodation sector.
“Liverpool is one of the most exciting cities in the north in terms of property investment right now,” he explains.
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, Withers adds. The high spec studios and one bedroom apartments are available from £68,198, with 8% NET yield for cash buyers. Their L1 location ensures that tenant demand is strong and that rental income is thus at “a premium rate”.
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% of businesses scored Liverpool either four or five out of five, with 82% predicting economic growth over the next five years.
“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,” concludes Withers. “These factors lead to greater demand for premium housing, so now is the perfect time to invest.”