Student accommodation is a highly attractive and potentially lucrative asset class for property investors buying in the UK, and there are few cities offering better opportunities than Liverpool.
This famous city in the north-west of England holds strong appeal for students, largely thanks to its culture, lifestyle and the number of higher education institutions on offer.
It is home to a number of areas that are popular among young people, but there are two that really stand out…
The Baltic Triangle
The Times last year singled out Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle and North Docks as the coolest place to live in Britain, ahead of the Ancoats area of Manchester. The paper noted that the Baltic Triangle has grown into the heart of the city’s thriving arts and party scene, providing an insight into why it is such an attractive living location for students.
This area was once home to factories and workshops, but is now populated by digital enterprises and creative firms representative of the exciting growth taking place on Liverpool’s business scene at the moment.
According to the city’s tourist board, the Baltic Triangle is unlike other cultural quarters in that it is “not polished and prepared”, but “raw, organic and exciting”.
Two particular highlights of the area are Constellations and the Camp and Furnace, two uber-trendy dining venues. Visitors also have various cafes, bars and other attractions to enjoy in the Baltic Triangle.
The strong appeal of this location to young people could be a decisive factor for investors in student property looking for reassurances of strong tenant demand to maintain regular yields.
Experience Invest is currently offering the opportunity for buyers to secure their stake in this popular area with Baltic 56, a development of self-contained studio apartments with the added benefit of eight per cent net rental returns assured for five years.
In addition to its enviable location, this development will attract tenants with features including a games room, a gym and high-speed Wi-Fi.
The Knowledge Quarter
Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter is a part of the city centre with strong links to the education, knowledge and research sectors. The board responsible for overseeing development of the area has representatives from the biggest local higher education institutions, including the University of Liverpool (UoL) and John Moores University.
The Knowledge Quarter has a distinctive cultural and creative side, with the Liverpool Philharmonic, UoL Institute of Popular Music and Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) located there, not to mention the schools attended by Paul McCartney, George Harrison and John Lennon.
It also holds strong visitor appeal, with local highlights such as the Victoria Gallery and Museum, Blackburn House and the Metropolitan and Anglican cathedrals, as well as various drinking and dining venues.
There are positive signs for further growth and development in this exciting area in the near future, with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority recently agreeing to provide £5 million in funding for a new Digital Innovation Factory (DIF) at UoL.
Set to serve as a centre of excellence in virtual reality, the DIF is forecast to boost the local economy by £44.5 million and create some 400 jobs over a ten-year period.
Professor Ken Badcock, executive pro vice-chancellor for science and engineering at the University of Liverpool, said: “The new Digital Innovation Factory is a really exciting venture, combining our world-class strengths in computer science, robotics and engineering with state-of-the-art facilities.
“It will enable us to work even more closely with local industry in sectors where the city region has competitive advantage to increase the commercialisation of research and development activity.”
Initiatives such as this, combined with the lifestyle and cultural benefits of areas like the Knowledge Quarter, help to strengthen Liverpool’s appeal to young people who want to study in a vibrant, exciting and rapidly growing destination.
The selection of purpose-built student accommodation on offer in the city is being boosted by Aura Student Liverpool, an ongoing development of fully managed, en-suite rooms and self-contained studio suites.
Investors can currently secure eight per cent net annual rental returns assured for five years.
Liverpool’s enduring appeal to students
The Baltic Triangle and Knowledge Quarter are two key elements of a city that is becoming increasingly popular with students. This young, rapidly growing component of Liverpool’s population is good news for owners of buy-to-let property.
As the Liverpool Echo recently reported, the number of people living in the city centre has almost doubled in the last decade. Students and young professionals have fuelled this growth, with three-quarters of people living in central Liverpool aged between 17 and 29.
Discussing the general trends witnessed in recent years, city centre councillor Nick Small said: “We are seeing Liverpool becoming more of a destination for graduates, not just for students. We’re also seeing more people who want to live in the city centre and near to where they work.
“The economy has grown in the last ten years in the city centre so lots more people want to live near where they work. The cultural offerings in the city centre are really important, and the quality of life.”
With such a range of higher education institutions on offer – from UoL and John Moores University to LIPA, Hope University and the School of Tropical Medicine – there is little doubt the city will remain a major draw for British and international students in the years to come.
This is a hugely encouraging trend for owners of purpose-built accommodation in areas such as the Baltic Triangle and Knowledge Quarter, who can rely on the steady demand required to deliver strong, long-term yields.