I have been reading this forum for the last 4 years and this is my first post
I would like to begin by saying that this forum and its regular posters have undoubtedly saved my wife and I tens of thousands of pounds. We almost bought a house about 3 years ago but decided to pull out of the deal (following a real surge in sentiment on here that the crash was just getting going (so special thanks to Doccyboy, Belfast Boy, wee bobby etc who were posting a lot at that time) and rent for longer to see what the market would do. All I can say is that we are lucky we did!
We viewed a house a couple of weeks ago which ticked a lot of our boxes (about 90% of them) and we were thinking about putting in an offer. It needs minimal cosmetic work but we could move in right away. The asking price is slightly above RV, but I reckon that given the current market conditions, and also the fact that the agent/vendor has probably (hopefully) priced the property with the belief that there will obviously be negotiation in a so called buyers market, I believe it could be purchased at or very close to RV which we could comfortably afford in terms of mortgage etc.
The house is a detached house in Belfast, which is what we want as we do not want to have a long commute to work, mainly due to quality of life factors and a large part due to the rising cost of fuel which only seems to be going in one direction and probably will continue to do so until someone invents some spectacular form of renewable energy
So why do I ask the question? The reason why I ask is that the recent 'Northern Ireland Residential Property Price Index Report' (January – March 2012) states that detached house prices in Belfast have fallen 7% in the last quarter and 13% in the last year and this makes us slightly nervous. Obviously Belfast is a big area in terms of housing volume and the report doesn't really provide any indication as to where the largest falls have taken place within belfast or at what price range etc. However if we take it at face value, we are concerned that buying a house now could potentially be a costly mistake. So therefore we have the decision whether or not we proceed with this house which ticks 90% of our boxes now, or buy another house which may or may not tick as many of the boxes in the future at a price which may or may not be lower.
I have read so much about the house price bubble and the associated crash, but if government policy continues to be to prop up the housing market (and stock market) with its policy of Quantitative Easing combined with Low Interest Rates, the house price crash could continue to soft land for many years. With 50% drops already a reality in Northern Ireland, cumulative drops of 13% a year would get us close to the 70% decline from peak in another 2 years. Does anyone think this is feasible?
So we were just hoping to get some views about buying at RV in todays market, particularly considering that the bubble really started accelerated inflation around January 2005, although had been inflating steadily since early that decade i.e. how many of you believe that RV is good value now and how many of you believe it will seem like good value in 2 to 5 years time?
We fully appreciate that we are responsible for doing our own research but are keen to see what the general feeling is...
Mr B. Grills