Why is Liverpool the worst place to live in the country?

North West | Property & Construction | Reports

Liverpool is the worst place to live in the country and London is still the best – if you’re a homeowner.

Estate agency comparison website GetAgent.co.uk has analysed the good, the bad and the ugly of house price growth and declines since the 2008 financial crisis, discovering that parts of Liverpool have seen huge drops in value – labelling it the worst place to own a home in England or Wales.

GetAgent looked at Middle Layer Super Output Areas (MSOAs) and compared the average house price change for these areas in the decade-plus since the financial crisis.

While top-level house price data from the Land Registry and Gov index only drills down to city and town level, the MSOA data provides a more granular look at the market within these towns and cities, highlighting the areas that have seen the worst growth that would otherwise be hidden by the top-level statistics.

GetAgent’s research has revealed that the 023 area of Liverpool has seen the biggest drop in value, with an average change of -44.21% from £116,821 to £65,178. This decrease is approximately 5% greater than the next worst MSOA, Bradford (044), which has experienced an average house price change of -39.42% from £125,514 to £76,034. Hartlepool (005) is narrowly behind in third place at -38.14%, as the average house price in the area has dropped from £97,532 in 2008 to £60,338.

County Durham sector (036) follows with a drop of -37.41%, before Liverpool and Bradford rear their heads again; Liverpool (060) has seen an average house price change of -36.82%, while Bradford (039)’s drop in value of -36.64% is only marginally better than Bradford (048), which has experienced a change of -36.45%. Middlesbrough also features more than once on the list, with its 002 and 001 MSOAs sandwiching Sunderland (001) in the bottom three of the list of worst areas to live in.

The story is very much different in the capital, though, with GetAgent’s research revealing major growth in London house prices since the financial crisis.

In fact, the top 10 best MSOAs for house price growth are all located in London, with Camden (022) leading the lot at a seismic 389.82%. This growth has seen the average house price for the area rise from £308,080 to £1,509,051 over the last decade, despite recent price growth weakness.

Lambeth (003) sits in second place at a similarly massive 322.74% growth from £347,800 to £1,470,280, while Kensington and Chelsea (015)’s value increase is third-best across England and Wales at 241.98%. Even the smallest house price growth in the top 10 is still an impressive 179.90%, in Westminster (001).

GetAgent also looked into the best 10 MSOAs for house price growth outside of London, finding that Cambridge (010) sees the most buoyancy, where growth has been 156.71% since the financial crisis. There, the average house price has risen from £167,620 to £430,291, while Winchester (008) follows in second place, with an increase of 149.11% from £307,256 to £765,412. Coventry (007) is third-placed, with the average house price growing from £70,067 to £170,877 – an increase of 143.88%.

Colby Short, founder and CEO of GetAgent.co.uk, commented: “While we tend to focus on top-line statistics the UK housing market is made up of thousands of micro-markets and so what is happening in one area can be the polar opposite to another.

“Looking at these more granular levels of data provides an interesting insight that differs from the usual blanket, generic observations and demonstrates how even in the same city, the market can perform differently from one area to the next.

“Currently, we’re seeing the London market struggle with other major cities in the Midlands and further north enjoying stronger price growth. However, looking at the long-term picture since the financial crisis, we can see a real contrast across the different areas of the UK, with the capital flourishing overall, while other macro-areas have experienced really difficult recoveries.”

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