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Demand for rents doubles in town as people 'pushed out' of Liverpool

By Remy Greasley

Research has shown that the demand for rental properties in a Merseyside town has doubled as people are 'pushed out' of Liverpool, according to a local housing union.

Research from Spareroom, a flatshare and letting service and website, revealed that Birkenhead, Wirral has experienced a 99% increase in demand for rental properties from last year. This means that there are almost twice as many people seeking to rent a home, or a room, in the town.

Matt Hutchinson, the director of Spareroom, said that the increase in demand represents the effects of the cost of living crisis, as cities throughout the country become more expensive to rent in leading families to try and save where they can. Moving away to towns in commuter areas, where rent is cheaper, is one way they can do this.

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Merseyside's central areas have seen a 5% increase in rental prices over the past year, according to the research, with Liverpool rents now 5% higher. Alone the figure does not seem like much, but it represents an increase of £25 for a home costing £500 per month- or an extra £300 per year spent on rent.

Martin Mawdsley, who helps run Acorn Liverpool, a community union that is best known for tackling housing issues, agreed that the increase in Birkenhead's rental demand is a clear effect of the cost of living crisis, but also said it was due to increasing house prices. He told the ECHO : "the price of houses to buy is increasing at a rate completely detached from people's wages.

"This forces more people to have to rent which then makes it even harder to save up for a deposit to buy a house, which then creates a sort of cycle which pushes more and more people to rent.

"Whenever we see this happening in the main economic area of a region, for example Liverpool, that does eventually start bleeding out to places such as Birkenhead and the other towns around it. Once a city becomes too expensive to live in people have to look elsewhere so they'll look at places like Birkenhead, which then increases the demand there.

"This will then likely increase the price there also, meaning people will get pushed further and further out."

He said that it could also mean that Liverpool loses potential economic value, as people who cannot afford to live centrally begin to spend their time, and their money, elsewhere. If commuting is financially difficult, this could also mean that more people will be looking for jobs outside of the city also.

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