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Shotoflight

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  1. Northern Ireland house prices back to 2005 levelshttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-33985054
  2. Official Frank Cushnahan was present at Nama sell-off talks - then later advised one of the biddershttp://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/official-frank-cushnahan-was-present-at-nama-selloff-talks-then-later-advised-one-of-the-bidders-31462054.html
  3. "The index is now 1% higher than Q1 2005" 4647 sales Both Q1 and Q2 this yr lower than equivalent last yr (marginally)
  4. A clue from their website WE KNOW HOW TO MAKE ESTATE AGENTS HAPPY…
  5. Northern Ireland’s myriad of property price reports – just who is right?http://pwc.blogs.com/northern-ireland/2015/05/northern-irelands-myriad-of-property-price-reports-just-who-is-right.html
  6. Northern Ireland property still the cheapest region in the UK with an average spend of £154,396 Northern Ireland costs have dropped 7% in five years while London has shot up by 45% http://www.belfastlive.co.uk/news/belfast-news/northern-ireland-property-still-cheapest-9824467
  7. Third month of growth driven by improving retail sectorhttp://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/news/third-month-of-growth-driven-by-improving-retail-sector-31438215.html But the construction sector's performance was still underwhelming, with both activity and new orders slumping.
  8. Why the pain of the property crash goes on for borrowershttp://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/opinion/john-simpson/why-the-pain-of-the-property-crash-goes-on-for-borrowers-31424211.html
  9. Homeowners hurry to remortgage, ahead of rate risehttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-33861279 "It is likely that people are now beginning to feel a rate rise is a realistic prospect, and not just a distant theoretical possibility." Homeowners 'must prepare now for an interest rate rise'http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-33786528 Borrowers must prepare now for a rise in interest rates, a charity says, with over a million homeowners never having experienced a Bank rate increase. Mark Carney, the Bank of England governor, last week said that a rise in the Bank Rate was "drawing closer". The Money Advice Trust said this offered only a "short window" for people to organise their finances. More than a million mortgage holders have only ever owned a home when rates were falling or frozen at 0.5%. "Rising interest rates will affect renters too, as many private landlords will pass on their higher mortgage costs to their tenants. Housing commentator Henry Pryor estimated that 40% of buyers each month did not need any mortgage finance, and were known as cash buyers. "These people are not concerned by the threat of rising interest rates, they could rise to 15% and it would have no direct impact," he said. "Traditionally when house prices started to run away, or there was too much froth, generally raising rates would dampen the market taking the heat and enthusiasm with it. Today a significant proportion of the market now waves two fingers at [the Bank on] Threadneedle Street. "Where rising rates may bite however is the buy-to-let market, already pinched by changes in the summer Budget."
  10. £10m land valuation for Belfast site was 'irredeemably flawed', judge ruleshttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-33794132 A Belfast property valuation firm has been strongly criticised for its role in a deal in which a housing association will lose almost £9m. Helm Housing spent £9.75m on a site at Great Georges Street in Belfast in 2007 - the site is now on the market for around £1m. Helm is suing Myles Danker Associates claiming its valuation was negligent. In a preliminary ruling a High Court judge said the valuation was outside the permissible range of error. Mr Justice Horner added that elements of Myles Danker's work showed "inexcusable" failings. The Myles Danker firm has effectively ceased to exist - all its staff joined the Savills agency in 2011.
  11. From Danske Bank - for what it's worth Austerity blamed for dip in consumer confidence, reporthttp://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/political-unease-hits-northern-ireland-consumer-confidence-31414482.html http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/news/austerity-blamed-for-dip-in-consumer-confidence-report-31414199.html The consumer confidence index said their measure dropped eight points between April and June - bringing it back to levels experienced last year. And while the economy is expanding - with growth of around 1.6% in the first quarter, according to the Northern Ireland composite economic index - Northern Irish people are still not fully confident in their finances. Confidence levels were down across all regions in Northern Ireland - but even with a steep fall of 16 points, Belfast city was still the most confident region. The lowest levels of confidence were recorded in the north region, which includes Carrickfergus, Antrim, Ballymena, Larne and Ballymoney. Danske Bank chief economist Angela McGowan said: "Although the economy in Northern Ireland is still expanding it is possible that local confidence levels have been impacted by a number of national and local events. The biggest jitters were felt in households' expectations for finances, with a fall in the percentage of people who were expecting their finances to improve. There was also a downturn in household spending expectations, while there was a rise in the numbers of people who were expecting their finances to get worse. Young people were chirpiest about their future finances while pensioners were the least optimistic. Only 14% of people questioned said they expected to be shelling out on 'big-ticket' items such as cars and white goods. Ms McGowan said that could spell unease for retailers. "Unfortunately, when confidence falls, spending is one of the first things to feel the impact. "It will therefore be disappointing for local retailers if footfall starts to wane - particularly when inflation is low and real wages are finally starting to rise."
  12. Ulster Bank: NI private sector jobs growth rate 'has weakened'http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-33515599 Ulster Bank said the Northern Ireland economy still faces challenges. The chancellor's autumn spending revenue will have big implications for public sector spending. "Looking ahead, the economic recovery is likely to experience more headwinds than tailwinds," Mr Ramsey said.
  13. UK housing market waking up, says CMLhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-33519370 The ONS figures showed that, in the year to May, house prices in England rose by 5.8%, in Scotland they climbed 2.9%, and prices were 2.5% higher in Wales. However, the biggest increase came in Northern Ireland where prices increased by 10.5%.
  14. Some interesting data/commentary/predictions NIHE 2015/18 Market review http://www.nihe.gov.uk/northern_ireland_housing_market___perspectives_2015-2018.pdf Northern Ireland’s economy grew by an estimated 1.8 per cent in 2014, and is set to grow by 1.7 per cent in 2015, but the pace of recovery is lagging significantly behind other parts of the UK, and Northern Ireland remains the poorest performing region. The rate of job creation has returned to pre-recession levels in 2013 and 2014 but “without any substantial growth in real wages, productivity or living standards” (PWC). During the first quarter of 2015, economic news has been mixed, with the level of new car registrations declining again, a significant rise in the rate of unemployment and the expectation of substantial reductions in public expenditure. In addition, the more than 60,000 households who continue to be in a position of negative equity must be seen as an ongoing drag on the Northern Ireland economy. Northern Ireland’s demography is continuing to change. Between 2001 and 2011, its population rose by 7.5 per cent to 1.8 million. Its age profile is becoming older: the number of people aged 65 and over increased by 40,400 (18%) and the number aged 85 and over rose by 35 per cent to 31,400. Average household size has continued to fall, although at a lower rate than previously envisaged. New, significantly lower household projections published by NISRA at the end of March 2015 have very important implications for housing need/demand and therefore supply.
  15. Namagate: The extraordinary story of money, power and politics The controversy over Nama's sale of its Northern loan book won't go away.http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/namagate-the-extraordinary-story-of-money-power-and-politics-31370595.html One of Brown Rudnick's "230 high octane lawyers" wrote to Sammy Wilson, the DUP politician and then finance minister in the Northern Ireland Executive. The firm said it had two clients interested in Nama's Northern Ireland's loan book. The proposal was to buy the loans in one lot in a closed sale. Wilson wrote to his counterpart in Dublin, Michael Noonan, in support. Nama's involvement in Northern Ireland had the potential to create "political problems" and the debt was weighing down its economy, he wrote. But Mr Wilson wanted conditions attached to protect the local economy. These included releasing the local debtors from their personal guarantees so they could get on with business and investing in the local economy. Mr Robinson's office later emailed Nama a "memo of understanding" that had been drawn up. The buyer was to release the 55 debtors from any personal or corporate guarantees they gave as security on their loans, they were to be allowed to continue to manage the properties, and would be paid a fee for doing so. They were also to get the option to buy back their properties later. Frank Daly called this a "debtors' charter" that Nama would never in its "wildest dreams" have countenanced. "We ignored it," said Daly. PAC chairman John McGuinness last week asked who stood to benefit. "Was it just an honest effort to free everyone or were there individuals who might benefit and would there have been well-placed insiders, as they are often described?"
  16. When the north starts to resemble Craggy Islandhttp://www.irishnews.com/opinion/2015/07/11/news/when-northern-ireland-starts-to-resemble-craggy-island-181455 The culture of self-interest first emerged during the St Andrews negotiations in 2006. In a side deal, the DUP presented the British government with what Republican News called "a shopping list of property-based demands". Allegations of serious wrong-doing have also come to nothing. Nelson McCausland's Stormont Committee found that he had acted inappropriately in attempting to extend a Housing (NIHE) contract to a maintenance firm. However, the DUP blocked an Assembly motion of no confidence through a petition of concern. NAMA's NI Advisory Committee was born into this culture. Surprisingly, its Northern membership was not open to public competition. The DUP's (presumably political) appointees were: Frank Cushnahan, a member of the Board in Peter Robinson's and Martin McGuinness's Office, and Brian Rowntree, Chair of the Housing Executive, which was subsequently found by the Audit Office to be unsatisfactory in performance. While there is no suggestion of wrong doing,was it best practice to appoint (and later re-appoint) to a highly demanding position, the Chair of a housing body which required time-intensive governance? While still in NAMA and NIHE (oh, and the Policing Board) Mr Rowntree was later appointed Chair of the NI Civil Service Commission. The Commission is charged with guarding the merit principle in the public sector. An opposition TD in the Dáil, revealed the NAMA scandal. Opposition MLAs in Stormont could not do it because there are none. Only the principled Jim Allister pursued the matter.
  17. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/budget/11724804/Buy-to-let-How-todays-Budget-will-affect-landlords.html Landlords could see their profits wiped out as the Chancellor targets the buy-to-let marketLandlords across the UK will be hit in the pocket after the Chancellor announced that he is scrapping tax relief on private rented homes, in an attempt to quell the economic risk posed by the booming buy-to-let market. Mr Osborne said the income tax relief enjoyed by landlords will be cut to the basic rate, which currently stands at 20pc. The measure, which will address "unfairnesses in property taxation", will be phased in "gradually" from 2017. Buy-to-let landlords can offset their mortgage interest payments against their income, whereas homeowners who live in their properties cannot, he explained. Only last week the Bank of England warned that people piling in to the buy-to-let market posed a risk to the financial stability of the country, inflating house prices up and reducing the number of homes available for first-time buyers. Genevieve Moore, a partner at chartered accountants Blick Rothenberg, also slammed the move. "This is likely to impact many of Britain's workers who have saved hard and invested in property to supplement their retirement. [We] could see a flood of buy-to-lets being sold as the squeezed middle bow out of the rental market," she said.
  18. NORTHERN IRELAND HOUSING MARKET RECOVERY? – YOU’RE JOKINGvested interest? http://www.bellcomp.co.uk/northern-ireland-housing-market-improvement-youre-joking We hear a lot of optimistic individuals in Belfast claiming the Northern Ireland housing market is “recovering”. Recovering is definitely not the term, improving maybe. Recent figures from Debt Action NI however suggest throughout Northern Ireland there has been a 24% increase since 2013 of borrowers falling into negative equity and mortgage shortfall debt. Mortgage shortfall debt is now at £44 million across Northern Ireland. Alarming statistics, particularly for those with their heads in the clouds suggesting recovery. Further concerns have been raised as a poll conducted suggested 68% of home owners in Northern Ireland will be unable to meet their mortgage repayments when interest rates rise. I’m afraid it is not case of “if” interest rates will raise but “when” with The Bank of England marking the third quarter next year for a rate rise. With 41% of homeowners in Negative Equity and Northern Ireland accounting for 56,034 out of 120,511 UK Properties with Mortgage Shortfall debt, according to Council of Mortgage Lenders figures, this is an Economic and Social time bomb which does seem to pass under the nose of Politicians all too often.
  19. New benefit cut 'will tip homeowners into a crisis' http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/news/new-benefit-cut-will-tip-homeowners-into-a-crisis-31350425.html The interest rate used to work out how much claimants can get under Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) - which helps those who are struggling to pay their mortgage - drops from 3.63% to 3.12%. The cut means someone with a £130,000 mortgage will see their benefit fall by £663 annually, mortgage debt service Housing Rights said. The housing advice service, which works on behalf of Department for Social Development, stressed that this is a significant amount for those on a low income. Peter McMahon of Housing Rights said: "Today's benefit reduction may tip some homeowners who are just about managing into a crisis situation that will put their home at risk. The amount of Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) that you receive will decrease from 6 July 2015. If you get this payment as part of your benefits, you'll have to make changes to how you pay your mortgage each month. from HR website How is SMI changing? People who are on certain benefits can get help to pay the interest on their mortgage and on some loans secured on their homes. This help is called Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI). The interest rate that the government uses to work out how much help you get with your interest payments is 3.63%. From 6 July 2015 this will drop to 3.12%. This means that someone who has a balance of £100,000 on an interest only mortgage will see their SMI payment drop from £69.81per week to £60. The change will affect everyone differently. It will depend on whether you mortgage is interest only or repayment and on how much of the loan you still have to pay back. Please call our advisers to find out how your payments will change. Why is this change important?SMI is usually paid directly to your lender. You will normally have to pay your lender a top up payment to cover the difference between your SMI payment and what you are required to pay to the lender each month to cover your mortgage instalment. It's really important that you understand exactly how this change will affect you. Working out these kinds of financial changes can be quite tricky, so please call our advisers to find out how your payments will change. What if a suspended possession order has been made?If you've been to court with your lender about money that you owe on your mortgage or secured loan, the judge may have granted a suspended possession order. This means that the judge has given the bank permission to repossess your home but has forbidden the bank from actually doing this as long as you stick to certain conditions. The condition is normally that you pay your current monthly mortgage instalment plus an agreed extra amount each month towards the arrears. The arrears is the amount of money that has built up because you've missed earlier payments. If you're getting SMI, you'll need to make sure that you've taken account of the change and have topped up your payments to the lender by the necessary amount after 6 July. If you haven't your lender could take you back to court and get a full possession order, meaning you would have to leave your home. - See more at: http://www.housingadviceni.org/rent-or-mortgage-arrears/smi-changes#sthash.0jVOiyVD.dpuf
  20. Northern Ireland mortgage debt rise 'grave concern'http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-33069353 A charity has expressed concern over what it says is the rapidly rising level of mortgage shortfall debt across Northern Ireland. Mortgage shortfall debt applies to anyone who has been left with a deficit in their mortgage after their home has been sold or repossessed. Debt Action NI estimates there has been an increase of 24% in the debt since 2013. It said the total has risen to £44m across Northern Ireland. The average debt per client is £100,000, the charity, which is part of Advice NI, added. It said the situation could get much worse if interest rates were to increase. On a recent poll on its website, 68% of those who took the survey said that they would not be able to maintain their mortgage payments if there was any rise in interest rates. More than 20% of those surveyed also said that their property was currently in negative equity. In 2013, Northern Ireland had the highest level in the UK of negative equity with 41% of homeowners living with negative equity. "Advice NI is deeply concerned at the rising level of mortgage shortfall debt," the charity's Fiona Magee said. "This difficult situation is made all the worse by the numbers of people highlighting how much difficulty they would find themselves in if interest rates were to rise. "This is a ticking economic and social time bomb which we all need to be aware of."
  21. NI mortgage lending fell in first quarter of 2015http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-32907321 The number of people in Northern Ireland taking out a mortgage fell in the first quarter of 2015, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). Its figures show that 2,400 homeowner house purchase loans were made in the first three months of the year. That was down 33%, compared to the fourth quarter of 2014 and 11% down compared to the first quarter of 2014. However, it was still the second best performing first quarter for house purchase activity since 2007. First-time buyers took out 1,400 loans, with the rest going to home movers.
  22. UUJ survey/sample The average price of homes sold in Q1, 2015 was £147,409, the highest it has been since Q4, 2010, and reflects an annual (weighted) increase of 5.3 per cent and a quarterly (weighted) increase of 0.2 per cent. http://www.rpp.ulster.ac.uk/housing-index.php
  23. RICS claim to know what's going to happen next in their regular 'opinion survey'
  24. Just to confuse things, you could quote the NISRA report which (though on a different timeframe - only starts 2005) states prices are 1% below Q1 2005 (excluding 10 yrs of inflation, presumably) http://www.nisra.gov.uk/housepriceindex/NI_RPPI_Statistical_Report_Q4_2014.pdf
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