It’s a millionaire’s market. Northern Ireland’s recovering property market is being fuelled by an unexpected rush for houses worth more than £1m, according to a prominent estate agent.
The Belfast-based Templeton Robinson estate agents says it has 12 would-be buyers just itching to invest up to £2m in their dream home – so much so they can’t keep up.
The affluent dozen are said to be on a waiting list for the perfect luxurious pad at the right high price. Templeton Robinson director Beth Robinson said: “There is real eagerness here. So much so that demand is certainly out-stripping supply.
“Right now, we have up to a dozen clients looking to buy in the £1-2m bracket. Their search for suitable properties is proving challenging.”
Ms Robinson added that deals in this upper end of the market “are being done”.
“This lucrative end of the market is showing signs of revival. The pace will quicken, simply because there are so few properties capable of commanding these prices available in the Greater Belfast area.”
Ms Robinson told a conference organised by The Law Society of Northern Ireland that tough business decisions had to be made during the economic recession – when Northern Ireland’s property market turned from boom to spectacular bust – which saw one of its five offices close and the workforce slashed by 50%.
But she added that the company was now back to five offices and has 40 people on the payroll. Templeton Robinson also revealed demand was growing for quality apartments, in part fuelled by recent successes in attracting major overseas investments.
In the first six months of 2014-15 financial year, Invest NI said nearly 1,200 jobs were created by 10 new inward investors.
“We have one client who lives in England who’s looking for a 12/24-month lease with a budget of £3,500 per calendar month,” she added.
Last night, Gerry O’Connor estate agent described the situation as ironic.
“There is a lack of supply of quality housing from £500,000,” he said.
“It’s rather ironic after all we’ve been through. We have a bit of demand and not much supply.”
One man no longer searching is world number one golfer Rory McIlroy, who recently purchased an 8,000sq ft Holywood mansion from Simon Brien Residential for an undisclosed sum in this price range.
Homes on sale now
1. 63 Connor Road, Parkgate, Ballyclare – £1.5m
7,000 sq ft residence nestled in the hills of Co Antrim with mature architecturally landscaped gardens extend to 1.4 acres. It boasts four bedrooms, a BBQ room, a library, wine cellar and cinema room.
2. The End House, Clanbrassil Terrace, Cultra – £1.5m
Five-bedroom spacious house, with underfloor heating and a private sunken courtyard ideal for entertaining.
3. Wentworth, 7 Cultra Park, Holywood – £1.45m
Six bedrooms, drawing room, dining room with feature fireplace. Cinema room/playroom.
4.15 Malone Park, Malone Road, Belfast – £1.39m
Extended detached Victorian family residence. The kitchen includes a remote control electric Aga. Six bedrooms. High cornice ceilings, feature fireplaces and polished wooden flooring.