First Time Buyers in the Northern Ireland Property Market

This article will review the current residential property market in Northern Ireland. It will focus particularly on first time buyers. We will offer tips and advice on what buyers should look out for when conducting their property search in Northern Ireland.

The Residential Property Market in Northern Ireland
Data released in February 2013 by the Northern Ireland Land and Property Services (a Government body) revealed that in the twelve months to December 2012, residential property prices fell by 13% and that the prices of property currently being sold are half of what they were at their peak. Property prices in Northern Ireland peaked in the summer of 2007. It also reported that the number of verified sales in the final quarter of 2012 was the highest recorded number of sales since the fourth quarter of 2007 and was 20% higher than the same period in 2011. However a recent survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors told a different story – it said its members were at their most optimistic about the state of the residential market since July 2007. They also said that in the first quarter of 2013 there were indications that prices were starting to rise in many areas.

What this Means for First Time Buyers

It can be seen from the above statistics that the residential market appears to be very attractive at the moment, in particular to first time buyers searching for a house for sale inNorthern Ireland. When a property market falls, it has little real impact for buyers who are already on the property ladder as the house that they will be selling will also be falling in value. However for buyers who are entering the market for the first time, house price falls will have a real impact. Unemployment has been falling in Northern Ireland and the economy has been stimulated by Government initiatives. Falling property prices have also started to attract overseas investors which again is serving to stimulate the economy. The Northern Ireland Office has announced another interesting initiative whereby a new government equity guarantee on mortgages of 95%. This will result in first time buyers in Northern Ireland needing on average only a deposit of 5,000.

While there appears to be good signs of recovery in the residential property market, this follows a number of years of significant falls so first time buyers should study the marketcarefully when looking at a house for sale in Northern Ireland. There is still a huge disparity inproperty prices across the region – for example South Belfast has the highest average property prices while North Belfast has the lowest. There has been a small increase in the lending capabilities of banks to residential buyers, partly because of the UK Funding for Lending Scheme, but first time buyers should always secure a mortgage at a competitive rate before starting their property search. Buyers should ensure they carry out extensive research when searching for a house for sale in Northern Ireland.

Idania Silvia writes regularly on the residential property market for a number of property and personal finance related websites and blogs. She is a qualified chartered accountant and provided professional property and financial advice to a wide range of clients. Please click here to know more.