James Kersh on the Liverpool and Merseyside Property Auction Markets

We put some questions to James Kersh, managing director at Sutton Kersh – auction house, sales and lettings management company – primarily focused across Liverpool, Merseyside and the North West...

What trends have you observed within the residential property sector at Sutton Kersh during the first quarter (and as we move into Spring / Summer) of 2024?

Throughout the first quarter of 2024 and transitioning into Spring/Summer, we’ve witnessed a notable surge in demand for a diverse range of residential properties, including vacant residential properties ripe for renovation and investment opportunities with potential for value addition.

In addition to traditional single-family homes, there’s also increased attention on House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) properties, offering attractive rental yields and catering to the evolving needs of modern tenants.
These trends underscore the dynamism of the residential property market in adapting to changing preferences and priorities.

Why do you think there is strong interest in investing in Liverpool and across Merseyside?

Liverpool and Merseyside continue to attract strong interest due to its diverse economy, ongoing regeneration projects, investment in infrastructure and extensive hospitality, retail and leisure offerings.

Additionally, the city’s rich cultural heritage, academic institutions and energetic entertainment scene appeal to investors seeking both rental yield and capital appreciation.

Can you highlight some notable sales achieved at Sutton Kersh so far this year?

So far this year we have held 2 auctions which have seen us sell over £17.5 Million worth of property and 133 Lots in total.

In our most recent auction, we offered a highly desirable property in L5 which was a former public house in L5 and just a few minutes from Anfield Stadium. The property had a guide price of £15,000 and once demolished the land would be suitable for redevelopment to include a block of flats or retail unit. It sold after an intense bidding war for £143,000.

Residential and investment properties are proving very popular and in demand, resulting in them often selling for considerable amounts above their guide prices.

What are your forecasts for the property auction market for the remainder of 2024 and into 2025?

We anticipate continued cautious buoyancy in the property auction market for the remainder of 2024, driven by pent-up demand and attractive investment opportunities.

Interest rates have and will play an important part in investors’ decision making. Investment properties priced competitively in the right locations will likely continue to sell due to the consistent demand for them.

From your perspective, what are the primary risks and challenges currently impacting the auction sector in the medium term, let’s say over the next 5 years?

Over the next five years, challenges such as regulatory changes to the residential sector, market volatility and shifts in buyer preferences could impact the auction sector.

Any changes to the current Government or revised policies will also impact the sector. However, buying properties through auction remains favourable for many so I do believe there will always be a strong interest.
How do you assess the prevailing macroeconomic climate and its potential implications for both the residential property auction sectors?

The prevailing macroeconomic climate, including factors such as inflation, interest rates and government policies, will influence the residential property auction sector with many landlords considering their options as stricter governance and increased cost of ownership creeps in.

Considering the shift to a higher interest rate environment, how has the auction sector and its buyer profile adjusted?

The auction sector and its buyer profile has had to adjust to higher interest rates by becoming more selective in investments, potentially favouring properties with potential for strong rental income or long-term capital appreciation prospects.

Location has been more important than ever too as investors want to get the most from their investments, as having properties in more desirable areas attracts a higher yield, which is why we have seen many bidding wars during our auctions for those types of in-demand properties.

What are your perspectives on the potential implications of a Labour government overseeing the economy for residential property investment and development?

A Labour government overseeing the economy could bring about policy changes impacting residential property investment and development.

Investors may need to closely monitor proposed legislation related to taxation, housing affordability and urban planning. It may also add some uncertainty with people not wanting to invest until they see policies put in place under the new government and give them time to settle.

There is also speculation in the industry that under a Labour Government more policies may be introduced to stimulate construction, including development for more affordable housing schemes too.

Where can individuals find more information about the auctions you conduct?

Clients interested in our auctions can find more information via www.suttonkersh.co.uk including auction schedules, property listings and registration details. Additionally, they can contact our team directly for assistance and guidance with buying and selling at auction.

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