Grenfell cladding saga hits Liverpool city center property as owners ‘trapped’ in homes they can’t sell



A top report on the Liverpool property scene said its market is “currently strong” – but is affected by coating issues that have emerged in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Alan Bevan, of City Residential, said the Liverpool market had improved “significantly” over the past four months – despite concerns about the future sustainability of city centers – with prices becoming more affordable than those in the suburbs “booming”.

However, the city was hit by the industry’s difficulties in familiarizing itself with the coating laws implemented in the wake of the Grenfell disaster, which killed 72 people in 2017.

According to Bevan, it centers around the EWS1 security testing system, which examines the exterior walls of residential buildings, and often differentiates between a bank deciding whether or not to provide a mortgage.

In recent years, this has prompted reports of mortgage owners “trapped” in buildings they could neither sell nor remortgage.

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The government subsequently provided billions of pounds to pay for the removal of siding from taller buildings.

But Mr Bevan said the situation in Liverpool city center was “not good” and that over the past 12 months the city had reached “the lowest point of the problem”.

In the quarterly report released on Wednesday, he explained: “While there are relatively few buildings 18m or taller that have combustible cladding as part of their exterior, many other buildings have been overtaken by all.” scandal ”EWS1.

“While the original requirement for the EWS1 form was for high rise cladding buildings, it has slowly but steadily been extended to almost all buildings.

“We have seen examples of buildings without siding and with very limited fire risk that fail EWS1 tests due to the deterioration of lenders’ opinion on accepting any risk.

“The ironic situation we find ourselves in now is that many lenders refuse to lend on properties that have failed in an EWS1 in which they currently have many mortgage creditors to whom they have already lent.”

Although it has reached a low point in the city, Mr Bevan said that does not mean she will disappear now.

He said: “Lenders always take a ‘zero risk’ approach to the whole issue of AMPs / loans, which translates into the possibility of safe buildings getting caught up in the larger problem.

“Many surveyors have expressed frustration that some buildings that they believe should be fully mortgageable fail for the wrong reasons.

“The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors understands the problem and wants to find a solution, but they need to work harder with lenders to make a sound plan come true that gives existing tenants / owners the option to sell / remortgage.

Mr Bevan, however, said there was “light at the end of the tunnel”, adding: “The market has improved dramatically over the past three to four months, despite concerns about the centers’ future sustainability. -cities as a whole.

“As we pointed out earlier, the downtown area will thrive after the lockdown and it looks like shoppers are all for it.

“With soaring prices in the suburbs, the city center has become even more affordable and offers a real alternative to shoppers who want to enjoy the leisure, hospitality, culture and retail that Liverpool offers and will continue to do so in the future. “


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