When considering property investment opportunities in the northwest, Manchester often captures the headlines. So it's easy to forget that the northwest offers many other options. One of these is Liverpool and so in this report we will look at the market in this city and the surrounding Merseyside area.
Background and economy
The city of Liverpool itself has a population of around 470,000, making it the seventh largest city in the UK. The wider Merseyside area has a population around 1.4m. As well as Liverpool, Merseyside comprises the administratively separate metropolitan boroughs of Knowsley, Sefton and Wirral plus the nearby town of St. Helens.
From a peak of around 840,000 in the mid-20th century Liverpool's population declined fast over subsequent decades. However, latest ONS figures show it has grown by 5% over the last decade - though partly fuelled by population loss in some adjacent areas. Projections suggest Liverpool's population is now growing by 0.7% a year and will reach 0.5m by 2037.
With a GVA of £13.7bn (Centre for Cities 2014 figures) Liverpool is the tenth largest economic area in the country. Historically being a major world port and manufacturing centre these industries declined sharply in the second half of the 20th century. However, the city is still the third largest port in the UK (employing around 6,000 people with further expansion planned), a major location for motor manufacturing (the two largest plants employ around 7,000 people directly), chemical industries, food processing, and financial and professional services. As well as being a major shopping centre it is the headquarters for several large retail groups and there is a growing tourist industry.