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Wirral’s ‘impossible’ property market where people pay thousands over asking price

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Dawn Quinn was delighted when she finally moved into her dream Wirral home after a battle which saw her take on 28 prospective buyers and pay nearly £20,000 over the asking price.

The 49-year-old, from Warrington, said she and her partner had to sell two homes to get a large deposit together before finally landing their new home in Egremont Promenade in Wallasey at the start of this year.

The area is experiencing a major property boom, with rising prices and fierce competition for properties.

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Dawn said she originally wanted to buy in Wales, but had no luck, and only got her Wallasey home when the buyer fell ill and it went back on the market.

She said: “28 couples went to see it before we did. We had to sell two houses to get a large deposit together and we offered £19,000 over the original asking price.”

Dawn, who used to run a fabrication company in Warrington with her partner Stephen, 49, said the estate agent told her that they had turned down a huge number of offers for the property, for which the couple paid more than £350,000.



Dawn had to pay well over the original asking price for the home
Dawn had to pay well over the original asking price for the home

She added: “I think we’re just lucky that we had that money. I feel really sorry for younger people who can’t afford it [given price rises].”

Dawn’s experiences fit with the pattern Wirral estate agents Karl Tatler has been seeing.

Looking at the picture in recent months, a spokesperson for Karl Tatler said that the number of new properties coming to the market tends to drop rapidly in the lead up to Christmas.

But they added: “We then saw a huge influx in January though, and with this meant more competition and higher agreed prices.

“In turn, properties came to market from word of mouth of how much people were achieving with higher expectations.

“Therefore, we saw prices continue to increase throughout the start of 2022.”



Dawn's home on Egremont Promenade
Dawn’s home on Egremont Promenade

Sarah Vernon, 36, has not been so lucky with her attempts to buy a home.

She was living in Manchester when she started looking for a place in Wirral, preferably New Brighton or Wallasey Village.

Sarah had got the deposit together to buy her first home, but then the pandemic hit and her plans were thrown up in the air.

Sarah said it was “impossible” to get a place in the Wallasey area if you live somewhere else, as properties are snapped up almost as soon as they go online.

In an effort to get a property, Sarah has moved to Wallasey Village and started renting with friends, but as yet that has not been enough to get her a place of her own.

Sarah said: “From then [before the pandemic] to now, house prices have jumped and I can no longer afford the same sort of place.”

She added that prices have risen by around £30,000-£40,000 on the two-bedroom/three-bedroom terraced houses she has been looking at, meaning they have gone way above the £130,000 she can afford.

Sarah, an accountant who is looking to buy on her own, said buying at the level of around £160,000-£165,000 would be too risky given the current state of the economy.

She added: “Just by myself, I could get a mortgage at that price, but that would be a lot of debt for me to have on my own, which is quite terrifying, especially with interest rates rising. I don’t want to put myself in that position.”

Despite being in work, Sarah said she is now thinking of reducing her ambitions to buying a one-bedroom flat.

Sarah added: “I’m lucky as i’m on my own and can downsize to a one-bed. But I feel for single parents who can’t do that as easily.”

On being forced to look for a smaller home, Sarah said: “It is a little bit disheartening, I’m not asking for anything flash.

“I’ve worked all my life and got a good job.”

Jessica, 22, who did not want to give her surname, was buying in a similar market but had better luck.

She was looking for a home with a maximum budget of £110,000, something she found to be a huge challenge.

Jessica said: “I have just turned 22 and have been very lucky to get myself on the property ladder in a three-bed house in Poulton back last August after nearly a year of getting knocked back on dozens of offers I put in for other properties I previously viewed.

“Again, I’m very lucky as I had solid work over the pandemic that allowed me to put thousands of pounds away in savings, plus the fact I lived at home with my parents and they also contributed towards the deposit.”

The homeowner explained some of the challenges of the market, she added: “The trouble was that my budget [of £110,000]which even still was quite high for myself, was getting gazumped by investors and landlords when it came to putting in a modest offer.

“This happened at least three times and my luck only came when I was actually able to meet the lady selling her late mother’s home.”

But Jessica’s is a success story, showing that there is a way through for some even in the current competitive market.

Jessica added: “[The lady selling the home] was eager to sell as she had been let down multiple times by investors who gave up on the sale when there were difficulties regarding the survey.

“But most importantly she wanted to see her mother’s 1950s end terrace, which she lived in for 60 years, sold to someone who would treat it as a home rather than a buy-to-sell.

“The lady saw my eagerness to get on the ladder and my passion to own a home so she accepted my offer.”

The 22-year-old was very happy with her purchase, and added: “I have lived here with my partner for approximately seven months and it has been the best choice I have ever made to buy a home.”

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