1 October 2013

Time to buy in Northern Ireland?


Now could be just the moment for people to purchase property in Northern Ireland. Property prices are rising again after taking a massive hit following the financial crisis.

Like the rest of the UK, property prices in Northern Ireland have risen in the last year. Latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data reveals average values climbed 1.8 per cent in the 12 months to July of this year.

But historically prices remain subdued, suggesting there is still ample scope to buy a house now and turn a profit just as the market turns positive. The ONS price index for Northern Ireland remains 49 per cent below its 2007 peak, with the average cost of a home standing at £132,000.

More signs of confidence returning to the market emerged earlier this month with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) latest report on Northern Ireland. The survey’s price balance for August 2013 was the highest since July 2007, and it was the first time in six years that the survey reported three consecutive months of a positive balance – indicating that prices were rising. There were also strong data for transactions and transaction expectations.
“Clearly it was a positive summer for the housing market, with the survey pointing to rising prices and rising transaction volumes in June, July and August,” commented Tom McClelland, RICS Northern Ireland housing spokesman.

“Whether this sunny disposition can be sustained into the autumnal months remains to be seen. But we remain of the view that although there will inevitably be seasonal variations and bumps along the way, the market remains on course for a general improvement over the year as a whole.”

Foreign buyers looking into property in Northern Ireland may consider using a currency exchange specialist to secure them the best deal on sterling. Specialists can save people as much as three per cent compared to using banks – money that can be used to renovate a property to turn an even tidier profit.

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