House prices in Northern Ireland are finally turning upwards. Values are up by nearly two per cent in the last year, but they remain well short of historic highs. Tom McClelland, RICS Northern Ireland housing spokesman, believes the market remains on course for a “general improvement” over the year as a whole.
If you are looking to sell your home in Northern Ireland to finance a move overseas, the market is certainly more favourable than it was even last year. However, there are still some important things you can do to maximise your sale value.
Extensions: adding an extension may be a costly outlay but could increase the value of your home by up to 20 per cent by expanding the living area.
Loft conversion: similarly, a loft conversion can significantly increase floor space. You could add an extra bedroom or create a separate living area.
Green investment: spending money on new windows, doors and insulation could be a wise investment. Buyers now are keen to have a property with a high energy efficiency rating and will be prepared to spend more if they know they’ll be saving money on bills.
Kitchen and bathroom: the prospect of upgrading a kitchen or bathroom can put off many buyers who want to move into a home that is ready to live in. A recently modernised kitchen or bathroom will be much more appealing and mean you can secure a sale quickly.
Budget: remember that when doing up your house for sale there is little point in spending more than you’ll get back. Fix a budget for your work and stick to it, otherwise all your hard work and money will be for nothing.
Finally, once you are ready to buy, it can be worth using forward contracts to lock in the exchange rate, which will effectively protect the sale value of your home against future fluctuations in the value of sterling.