20 June 2011

Record level of choice makes it an Opportune time for home buyers says top agent


Northern Ireland homeowners could save tens of thousands of pounds by upsizing, a leading residential estate agent claimed today.
Keith Mitchell, Partner with Templeton Robinson, said the current reductions in house prices across all levels presented ‘real opportunities’ for those considering upgrading their homes.

"Year on year we estimate someone moving from a house which would have been worth around £515,000 this time last year to one that was worth £700,000 could save almost £37,000 excluding statutory costs. In real terms this, alongside the fact there is an unprecedented level of choice makes now an excellent time to move up the ladder," Keith Mitchell said today.

Mr Mitchell said figures produced by revealed around 27,000 homes currently on the market across Northern Ireland, as against a market norm of approximately 17,000. "These are quite startling statistics, effectively meaning the average estate agent is currently carrying around 35% more stock than usual.

"There is no doubt these are challenging days for many estate agents. However, from a buyer’s perspective, that can be good news as there is much more choice out there than has been the case for some time and, as a result of the wide choices for buyers, vendors are more likely to be willing to negotiate on price. A year ago we were in the middle of arguably the greatest housing frenzy ever experienced in Northern Ireland, with values going up by the day and properties being sold sometimes the same day. We’ve got to realise that growth will never be repeated and, going forward, the market will be driven by people buying and selling out of want and need rather than short term profit."

According to Keith Mitchell interest in viewing properties has heightened considerably since April – a trend borne out by Propertynews,com who have witnessed a marked increase in online viewing from the same period.

"In normal circumstances we see a noticeable uplift in enquiries and online activity in January as people begin to think about big decisions like moving home and that results in increased transaction levels in April. One school of thought with what we are seeing at the moment is that the initial increase in interest which we have seen in April could result in more dynamic transaction levels in either June or September, although, as we have never before experienced these market conditions, it really is impossible to predict any timelines. There is, however, an inevitability about sales’ levels improving as there will always be those in the market who need to move because of changing family circumstances, new jobs or a whole range of other ‘everyday’ necessities.
"We hope the banks will soon pass on interest rate adjustments to restore confidence and ability to buy as there is no shortage of people wanting to move along the housing ladder evidenced by the current 27,000 listings for sale in Northern Ireland."

Templeton Robinson has five branches throughout Belfast and North Down. For more information on their wide variety of homes available for purchase please log on to

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