Investment from the US accounted for a large part of money sunk into Liverpool’s property scene last year, as the north-west of England continues to attract overseas interest.
Proptech firm Datscha say that £361 million was invested in property from overseas investors in the year to November. American money accounted for £156m of that – a huge leap from the £15m recorded in 2017.
The US interest in the city by the Mersey is an interesting parallel to recent findings about Manchester. A 2018 survey revealed that interest in Manchester from China had risen by 200% from a year earlier, with direct flights connecting it to Beijing and Hong Kong helping to bring in potential buyers.
A new non-stop link with Mumbai is tipped to help raise interest from India, with England’s north-west not offering the fear factor of prices in London and the south-east.
So, what were the big US-backed deals in Liverpool?
Chicago-based real estate investment giants Heitman bought into the 200-apartment scheme at the Baltic Triangle, as well a smaller scheme at Cornbrook in Manchester. Barings Real Estate then bought The Keel, a 240-flat development by Liverpool’s King’s Dock, as well as land adjacent to it.
Barings are confident that their move will pay off, in contrast to the general pre-Brexit mood of uncertainty. They predict good times ahead for the region.
“Barings believes the UK PRS sector, and the regional mid-market sector in particular, is at the beginning of a period of sustained growth,” said Darren Hutchinson, Barings’ head of UK real estate transactions.
“We have extensive experience managing and investing in multifamily properties in the US and our acquisition of the Keel is a great start to our strong ambitions to expand that expertise to the UK.”
Region bucks Brexit trends
Lesley Males, Datscha’s Head of Research, told the Liverpool Echo: “Liverpool has performed well as a regional city over the past 12 months.
“It’s encouraging to see overseas investment at a time when the market is slowing down ahead of the UK’s departure from the EU – this demonstrates the city’s value to foreign investors.”
It’s an exciting time in Liverpool, with other residential developments such as Liverpool Waters seeing regeneration of large parts of the iconic waterfront. And while their rivals from across Stanley Park go for the Premier League title, Everton FC have unveiled plans to build a new stadium close by at Bramley-Moore Dock.
House prices, while on the rise, are very much in the affordable bracket. And a recent Totally Money survey revealed that five Liverpool postcodes are in the UK’s top 20 best yielding buy-to-let areas.