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House Price Crash Forum


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  1. Last posted about a year ago when we were just about to relocate to Belfast from Canada. A lot of sound advice which helped us immensely. We’ve now been here a year and have been renting a lovely house in Lisburn; we’ve also settled in extremely well and love the Province/ City. Here’s our problem: We are looking to buy a house in Lisburn around the $350k mark and have £100k to put down. We also have (non-business) income of around $43k per year. However, new rules in place from the banks we’ve visited will not take into account my Canadian Business income, or income from the business I’ve set up in N.I. (Canadian Immigration consultancy), until I have two years’ accounts in the UK. This has really put us back a bit we’ve now got to wait another 20+ months or so to buy, whereas we would like to within the next 6-8 months, as the proprieties we are interested in seem not to be selling at the prices quoted, so are perhaps open to offers (we’re looking around the Wallace Park area, N. Lisburn). Are there any other options to investigate that offer more flexibility on income multiples/ Business income? Any advice very much appreciated.
  2. Although i'm of a generation where home ownership seemed a natural state (first house bought in 1986) it appears that ALL factors lead to renting a property in the medium term Unrealistic house prices in the Upper/ middle range (some i've seen RV +50%) Political pigmies, both in power and opposition Increasing Debt Interest rates only to go one way High probability of more house price devaluation Stamp Duty 3%!!! Very poor Real Estate systems/ regulation. Lack of mobility with a house that in the future may not sell The list seems to be endless. Can anyone put forward a case to buy at the moment? For me, it's my head over my heart, but nothing that i've read on this forum, or the media (exclude EA and Gov propoganda) leads me to any other conclusion. The only factor i can envisage that would counter this conclusion would be long term sustainable house price increases (5-8% per year); anything else would just appear to be a bubble....just can see this scenario
  3. Back from a week in Belfast Specifically in relation to Real Estate, a couple of points: Tried to book a viewing of a property (425k) and the vendor couldn't accommodate on the day we wanted, so had to fly back without seeing a property we were specifically interested in, as cash buyers. Second property (new build 360k): Appointment was made with an onsite foreman (lovely chap) but no detailed info on prices/ process etc, etc- no follow up by EA. The Real Estate company seemed very disinterested. Is this normal? I would understand more if this was a fishing trip- house to sell etc, but as a cash buyer at this end of the market it appears that the system is somewhat broken (or was it just bad luck!). Is it the case that you have to form a 'relationship' with a brokerage before they take you seriously, or am I missing something here? I know the systems are very different between UK and North America but surely a buyer (no chain) would provoke some professionalism and interest? One other point: I will get charged by a bank to have the right to use my own independent solicitor/ lawyer (150 pounds)? The bank will provide their own recommended solicitor who will represent both the bank and my own interests (conflict of interest potential). Loved Belfast- people say that Canada has some of the friendliest people in the world- got to say that it doesn't hold a candle to our experience in NI.
  4. Are you suggesting that there are not many enclaves of LU supporters dotted around the city Just got my power/ leccy/ heating bill in for two months here- $1500 (1000 pounds)- looking forward to, shall we say, more competitive prices in NI.
  5. V Funny For some reason our sons (who moved over here when they were 2 and 9) have retained their 'British' accent; this may be the comboination of my wife's NI accent and my Salf London accent. Anyway, we see many brits/ Irish children who lose their accent within weeks here but for some reson this hasn't happened to us. Canadian and UK passport but not a hint of the 'twang' that usually goes with extended stays here. Last time i was in Belfast was around 2000 so i expect there will be lots of changes. Hopefully a combination of Golf/ Red wine/ footie will break down most barriers (although as a Leeds supporter i'm not expecting a warm welcome from the MU side of the family ).
  6. Although moving to NI and buying a property has many economic factors, it also has a large emotional element. We certainly do not feel/ want to be considered as speculators in any way, and I suppose just want to pay a fair price for what we can afford. My view is that we are buying into the future of the province. A relation recently said that we will struggle as we are not big on religion,and that we will find it hard to integrate, as a consequence. Anyway, off to the airport tomorrow for 8 days in belfast; see a few houses and take in the whole thing....
  7. We've built twice in Canada- third time might be pushing the marriage vows a bit too far.
  8. I presume the premise of renting out (even at a loss) is in the hope of price stability and a change (even slight) to a buyer's marker again an dincreased prices- the impression i get is that this is some way off Funny enough, one house that i was intending to view whilst over, has just been let for 3 years. I suppose time will tell if this was a wise decision.
  9. Hi We're looking around the £300-330k range. We've been very fortunate with the exchange rate (which was 2.5CAD$ to the pound when we came out and is now around 1.6CAD$ -£). Looking around the upper malone/ north east Lisburn area. In Canada we have been heavily involved in the Real Estate/ relocation/ immigration sector (and can continue to do so from NI); selling our house won't be a problem as the market here is very robust and sales usually only take 4-5 week from offer to completion (the 'exchange of contracts' is at the beginning of the process, unlike the UK). As you suggest, i've had a good look at the different topics and the information/ depth of knowledge is fantastic. It certainly has helped us form a more realistic picture. I can't believe that some prices advertised are from 1-2 years ago and haven't been amended, and often bear no relation to the RV- in some instances i've seen listed prices at double the RV!. We're out in Belfast next week to have a good look around and hope to move back around June/ July. I'll have to remember to drive on the wrong (right) side of the road- i still get UK moments when i get in the wrong (right) side of the car. A question if any one can shed any light on this: In your opinion is (in general) there better value in buying a 'used' house, a referbished house or a new build/ construction (say, of the same sq f, same area etc)? It appears to me that value is more in vacant/ referbished pre owned houses.
  10. Many thanks for your sound advice and especially for the links- very informative. It appears that the rateable value does undercut the listing prices and is a more realistic valuation: Please correct me if i wrong. One of the things we will have to get used to during a possible house hunting trip (although, as you say Deccos, renting may be the short term answer) is the difference in Real Estate care/ service. Am i right in saying that the system in NI for house viewing is that a time is arranged by the EA and the property is shown by the vendor (this seems very strange after our Canadian experience). Surely this is a conflict of interest? Do EAs not represent in any capacity, the buyer? We've contacted a couple of EA and no reply. Is this standard service? Also interesting to note are poster's slight preferences to the market having some way to bottom out over the next few months. Does anyone know the options when buying a new build as to heating options (Oil/ Gas/ electric etc). Do you have options or is the system set?
  11. Yes we emigrated 8 years ago and have had a wonderful time but it's now time to come back. We have consifered other areas (Scotland/ North of England etc) but family around is a big draw. We're also lucky in that we can continue our business in NI. One of the things i will need to catch up on is the Real Estate system in the UK as the North American System is so different. Here, buyers and Sellers are usually represented and fees are quite a bit different as well. For example a buyer will pay a Deed Transfer tax (usually 1.5%) and Lawyer fees, but that is it (no stamp duty), whereas the seller will usually pay Real Esate fees to a Realtor in the region of 5%. Fortunately/ unfortunately, there hasn't been a property crash here (partly due to stricter lending legislation). When we first came, the lure of a couple of acres and large square footage was very appealing. This fades over time and a bit of infurstructure would be good! One area i would like a bit of advice on is the sale to purchase %- what is acceptable and 'norm'; here the sale price is generally around 3% lower than teh asking price.
  12. Hi New to this forum. What a wealth of info. Anyway, I won't bore you but just the basic facts. My wife (originally from Lisburn), myself (English) and our two boys are moving back to NI after spending the last 8 years in Canada (NS). Too long to have any detailed knowledge of how the UK/ NI works but short enough to kinda think we still know a bit! Seems like a few things have been going on in the property market since we left........ It"s funny, being in North America for so long certainly gives you some perspective on what many may take for granted in the UK (god please give me a M&S sarnie, a reasonably priced bottle of wine and food without orange plastic cheese). Can anyone give me a few tips on the general housing market (looking to buy a house in Lisburn/ south Belfast), economy, anything really as a (somewhat newby). We're visiting next week to get a good look around, perhaps see some new builds etc. Thanks.
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