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The_Equalizer

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  1. I would strongly recommend the 2011 NI Census as the figures are nothing like people would expect: Demography of Northern Ireland - Wikipedia Well worth studying as it is far more complicated than pure green and orange politics that the general UI debate seems to focus round. As for you question about house prices. NI receives £10 billion more than it takes in tax each year - put simply a shortfall of just over £5K for every man, woman and child and the public sector accounts for 27%-ish percent of all jobs in NI. The UK has approximately 33.5 million tax payers, RoI 2.5 million. Unless there would be some magic way of plugging the gap then I would suggest that house prices would fall, although, as Belfast VI stated "I imagine it is far in the future."
  2. I have done just this, although redeeming the ground rent and obtaining the freehold are two separate processes. Most people seem not to bother with obtaining the freehold - my application has taken an age because it is only the second one that has ever been dealt with by the agency according to my solicitor. The whole process cost about £650. Government site with details found here: Redeem Your Ground Rent - finance-ni.gov.uk
  3. I could write plenty about the Whiteabbey/Jordanstown area as it is where I have been living for the last 10 plus years. The wife and I (plus our two kids) moved last year and decided to stay locally as the train for work into Belfast suits us down to the ground. We lived in a more 'one-sided' part of Whiteabbey until last year. Ironically, it was my wife who bought the house (before I met her ) and she is from the 'other side' so to speak. She never had any kind of bother either on her own or when we both lived there. We now live on the lough shore side of the railway. For £250K you will be able to find something suitable and you will get a lot more value for money than most of Belfast. I lived in Fourwinds (plus quite a few other bits of Belfast) and getting in and out of the city during rush hour is a complete pain. It is far quicker by train from Whiteabbey, particularly in the evening. I have bored Joe half to death about all this, but look round Whiteabbey village, Jordanstown (again lough shore side of the railway) and there are a couple of very nice roads such as Dillon's Avenue nearer Whiteabbey end of things. If you have any houses and/or spots in mind I am more than happy to give you an honest assessment.
  4. I was quite impressed, but the data does seem available from the ONS: Nomis - Official Labour Market Statistics - ONS From what I can see the full-time median annual salary for Lambeth was £24,264 in 2000 which is £40,119 in real terms. The highest was (unsurprisingly) for the City of London at £39,104 or £64,657 in today's money. So even if you had a reasonable job in The City and lived in Clapham you were looking at 6.5 times salary in 2000. If you worked locally it was 10.6 times. Anyway, back to NI...
  5. " In fairness clapham was as affordable in the early 00's as NI is now."
  6. Average house price in Clapham in 2000 was almost £258k or £426K in real terms: Average House Prices in Clapham - foxtons.co.uk That last time it was cheap was the 1960s (my parents lived there for a while.) The last time such areas of London were affordable was the early 1980s during the recession. I doubt that even the smartest bits of Northern Ireland have an average house price of £426K, but happy to be corrected.
  7. Although those who work over there pay the tax so we can have the decent life style. NI is a net recipient from the UK exchequer to the tune of just over £5k/year for each and every man, woman and child.
  8. Here is your other problem for London: London's Population Over Time - Trust for London Website Its population has gone from 6.3 million in 1991 to over 9 million. The last time Clapham was affordable was probably in the early 1980s. The last time houses were affordable in London suburbs was about 1996. In comparision, there are houses that are affordable over in NI.
  9. Although rarely explicitly stated, of all the people I know that have other houses not one declares for tax purposes. With it all being digitised you would have thought finding people owning multiple houses and comparing it to their tax declarations would be relatively straightforward.
  10. There are other factors at play. I would be interested in how many households receive housing benefit (or whatever it is known as these days.) This gives the market a floor.
  11. Agreed. Perhaps robust would have been more appropriate choice. I can sort of see why though and, given my experience, I would be very tempted to buy a house to do up. It's a shed load of work, but doing up our old house for sale was definately the right thing to do. Houses sell if either they need to be done up (and there is profit in doing so) or they are completely done. Anything in the middle ground appears harder to 'move on'.
  12. Looks fairly 'healthy'. The bottom line is people have jobs (or at least those that want one.) For what it is worth it took 8 days to go sale agreed on our old house last month.
  13. Although proper mews houses are rather fashionable in London and go for several million.
  14. Just about to pop our old house on the market. I was hoping for a whisker under £100K so that it had been worth doing it up over the last year (and I have put in massive effort into getting it right). Estate agents have suggested listing at £110K with expectations of £115K. Will wait to see exactly what will happen, but houses have certainly been going sale agreed within 2-3 weeks of being listed. Supposedly the first time buyer market is booming. Joe - I owe you a message. Will be in touch soon!
  15. Just in case you haven't done the Google Street drive by, here are some of them under construction from May 2018: https://www.instantstreetview.com/@54.667522,-5.902475,74.72h,-1.26p,1.94z
  16. I know this area well and feel they are strong money for what they are. If I am not mistaken they are timber frame construction, ironically the same method used for the new local authority houses by Whiteabbey railway station. For balance I have not seen them internally, but they are positioned quite close to each other. £395K is top money for BT37 with very few houses selling above this. Haven't some of these have been for sale for over a year? Someone I know very well bought a very nicely totally done unique 1920s four bed detached with double garage and 1/3 acre at the same time these came on for the same money. If you absolutely must have a new build then, although now sold, something like this would be a better bet as it is a better road and close to Whiteabbey village: 2 Circular Road, Jordanstown - Propertynews.com Alternatively, although admittedly not as pretty, how about something like this: 14 Dillon's Avenue, Whiteabbey - Propertynews.com Dillon's is a much nicer road, you get a much bigger garden, easy walk to Whiteabbey village, the railway station and save £75k-ish in the process. If you fancy a 6-bed house then this also wins hands-down location-wise: 30 Circular Road, Jordanstown - Propertynews.com If you have any questions about Whiteabbey/Jordanstown please do feel free to ask.
  17. Really glad that you liked it. I do have empathy for your situation. I too spent a very long time saving and found it jolly depressing that there didn't seem to be anything I wanted for the money I had. In the end a house cropped up just at the right time albeit not in the bits of Belfast I liked nor Holywood. In fact I had walked past the house we bought two weeks before it was put on the market. I said to my wife before it came up for sale that it was my favourite house in what is a very nice road. Funny how life sometimes work. Do let us know if you do bid on anything. I will no doubt be raking through Propertynews for houses too!
  18. Talk about getting on with it! Very pleased you liked it. One of the little things I really like is the view you get when getting off the train from Belfast - it is straight down Belfast Lough towards the Irish Sea.
  19. That's my understanding of it. All other things being equal there would be no reason for planning to be refused.
  20. North Down is not known as the Gold Cost for nothing. I am sure you know that the neighbour's dormer is great as planning precedent has now been set. Perhaps give the EA a call and see the how the land lies? Even if not there will be others, although the cash ones seem a lot less frequent these days.
  21. It is about one of two places outside Belfast that I like that ticks all the boxes. Getting somewhere near a station and nice doesn't give you many choices and I think this is the best of them. I was there on Saturday, and much as I like where I am now, Holywood still beats it. Make no mistake, Holywood is not perfect, but there are little pockets of it that are spot on.
  22. The biggest house buying regret was not having a punt at 22 Kinnegar Road which went out the door at about £260K in 2012: https://www.instantstreetview.com/@54.640851,-5.842605,144.92h,1.84p,1z It was nicely done, and near enought the bottom of the market (although there were no signs this was the case at the time). It so happened that the house next door (number 24) came on at about 2 years later at £345K and was a total mess by comparison. It sold quickly.
  23. There were a couple of others that came up last year including this that needed work at about £135K from memory: https://www.instantstreetview.com/@54.64039,-5.843725,95.09h,-2.79p,1z It might be the case that it is used as a stepping stone. From those I spoke to, it looks like the NI market is not keen on doing up houses any more and that includes first time buyers. This was part of the reason I decided to do up the old house we were in. I guess I can let you know whether or not I was right in the next couple of months. P.s. Do like instantstreetview.com!
  24. Neither are part of a housing estate. The Kinnegar Road house is one of four similar houses and the Kinnegar Court is a cul de sac with about ten houses. There are estates in Holywood, but these houses are not part of them. The bottom line is the market is where it is. The house that needs work would be worth doing if you had the time and/or could cope with getting builders in. It would be a decent hedge as you would be 'adding value' (to use a tv property porn phrase). Spend £10K doing some of the work yourself and you would probably see an additional £20K on top which is either potential profit or a cushion against drops. The point I was making is there are houses out there in okay areas that, with some effort, can help you move on. The alternative is you sit and let fate take its course. I have spent the last eight months doing up the old house including most weekends and the odd week day evening. It always takes more effort than you think. Instead of sellling the house for £73K when we walked out the door back in October 2018 I am now aiming for £95K of which £10K would be clear after cost of materials, works, mortgage payments, rates and insurance. More importantly I have learnt a load and have several new contacts for building works should I wish to do it again.
  25. Admittedly a terrace, but certainly not a housing estate. Perhaps take a look round on Google Street View? I bet it isn't what you think. The bottom line is so long as you don't lose cash, then there isn't a problem. Any work done should mean you are quids in (or certainly cushioned against any falls should they occur). As it happens the kitchen in my old house looks like that at the moment. I have costed it at £4.5k for a reasonable replacement with me doing all the work except for tiling and fitting the timber kitchen work tops.
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