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That is exactly what I am seeing in my area. Stuff priced at the lower-end (sub-£80k) is definitely shifting, although I suspect with a discount to the asking price. Generally, it makes sense though, a house selling for £60k will make £100 a week rent where I am, so that means the purchaser is getting a ~9% yield, which is what should be happening in a normal market. That then makes you look at the sustainability of rents. It has actually surprised me at just how resilient that rents have been. I guess there are a few factors at work here. I haven't seen any evidence of oversupply of property in Northern Ireland (certainly not compared to the Republic). Indeed, if anything, there seems to be a slight under-supply? I was talking to an estate agent, and he was telling me that they actually have a waiting list of people who are looking for rental accommodation. It seems that the demand shift from the buy-side to the rental-side is having a big effect.

The higher-end of the market is definitely still completely dysfunctional. While prices at the lower-end have most definitely been slashed (I am seeing properties come onto the market at 30-40k that would have been asking for close to 100k at the height of the bubble), I have seen almost no movement in detached properties over £100k. Stubborn owner-occupier who refuse to sell? For the moment, I am still waiting for a detached, reasonably sized, three bedroom, fixer-upper house with about 1/3rd of an acre for the 100k mark.

I don't think there's a shortage of rental properties. Take a look at propertynews.

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Propertynews is rubbish, I remember using it when first looking for a place and most the of the houses listed were already let. Agents obviously don't seem to be too fussed about updating it.

Roughly where is your area? I'm not seeing it in Belfast myself. Looking in the telegraph too there's no shortage here. If anything there's a large oversupply.

I do agree agents are lazy.

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North Armagh.

There must be clear local anomalies. Definitely Belfast/Co. Antrim I’m see loads of rental properties. Spoiled for choice even. I’m not really seeing the lower end of the market shifting (60k and below) even with the potential 9-10% yield because I think the type of tenants you are going to get just wouldn’t be worth the yield. I’m seeing the mid end fall slowly. The 3 bed semis aren’t really selling at 100K apart from the odd one. The top of the market is completely screwed here. I think massive falls will be necessary so the jump from 3 bed semi to 4 bed detached isn’t so big.

I’m also noticing agents putting more properties on at RV+ 10% in what looks like the hope that they will be negotiated down to RV. Still most RV levels look overvalued to me.

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Interesting comment. I deal with a letting agent who charged me £200 to find a tenant. The agent is a member of the NI landlord association, is a member of The Property Ombudsman, is registered with the OFT, is a registered agent with Homelet, he confirmed his indemnity insurance and has NFOPP certificates all over his office. When he found a tenant he carried out a Homelet tenant reference check, gave me a certificate confirming this along with employment reference confirmation for the tenant.

The property was advertised on the usual sites and he done the viewings.

BTW he works from home. but is one of the most professional agents i've dealt with and i've dealt with some of the biggest ones.

What do you charge (would I be paying your inflated overheads), can a potential tenant contact you in the evening to enquire about my property (most good tenants work during the day) and what are your qualifications?

SS, I am not saying every Letting agent that works from home is dodgy, I am simply seeing some new ones appear that clearly do not belong to any of the official bodies that we do, eg ARLA, NAEA, NFOPP and IAVA. (we belong to them all, and are registered with Homelet). My credentials are not in question here.

As with most letting agents we are available during office hours and also Saturday until 2pm (which is better than many). I dont agree that most good tenants work during the day. Most of our enquiries come online through our website or propertypal so it is not vital that we are available at midnight or some other ungodly hour. We follow up enquiries during the day and we will do viewings after hours so no one misses an opportunity to view one of our properties.

You got a very good deal at £200. If the guy advertised properly, carried out accompanied viewings and drew up all paperwork plus arranged moving in etc, he probably made himself £70 for his effort. Hardly a lucrative career eh?

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SS, I am not saying every Letting agent that works from home is dodgy, I am simply seeing some new ones appear that clearly do not belong to any of the official bodies that we do, eg ARLA, NAEA, NFOPP and IAVA. (we belong to them all, and are registered with Homelet). My credentials are not in question here.

As with most letting agents we are available during office hours and also Saturday until 2pm (which is better than many). I dont agree that most good tenants work during the day. Most of our enquiries come online through our website or propertypal so it is not vital that we are available at midnight or some other ungodly hour. We follow up enquiries during the day and we will do viewings after hours so no one misses an opportunity to view one of our properties.

You got a very good deal at £200. If the guy advertised properly, carried out accompanied viewings and drew up all paperwork plus arranged moving in etc, he probably made himself £70 for his effort. Hardly a lucrative career eh?

I'm not saying all EAs are the same however many like to make property matters sound very complicated, anyone with a computer and a brain could find out the following.

The NFOPP is an exam of 80 multiple guess choice questions, the others you mention, ARLA, NAEA and IAVA are simply a membership fee once you pass NFOPP and as long as you following their code of conduct your in. I don't want to embarrass any EA's by posting an example of the questions.

Costs of letting property.

Well known property site £12.50

Another well known property site £5.00

Tenant reference £14.00 (credit check only with online company £8.00)

Board £15.00

Cost to advertise property £46.50

Every time you check a potential tenant what you charge £40.00 to the tenant? If their lucky.

Landlord £200.00, £40.00 to the tenant £240.00 - your costs £46.50 = £193.50. OK, take what, £20.00 for fuel/admin, Net profit £173.50. How many hours did that take? 6,7 or 8 £173.50 for 8 hours work. Never mind any commission you may get from Homelet for Insurance products. I'm in the wrong job. I employ tradesmen who don't make that in 2 days.

As for the paperwork the agent I used supplied/dealt with this, however a quick search shows that a tenancy agreement (not a legal requirement), statement of tenancy terms (legal requirement) and a rent book (legal requirement) can all be downloaded free from NIHE, DSD websites and loads more places.

http://www.dsdni.gov.uk/index/hsdiv-housing/private_rented_sector/hsdiv-private-rented-sector-publications.htm

What about a breakdown of what you charge? I'm curious to know how you get £70 profit out of a £200 charge.

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Landlord £200.00, £40.00 to the tenant £240.00 - your costs £46.50 = £193.50. OK, take what, £20.00 for fuel/admin, Net profit £173.50. How many hours did that take? 6,7 or 8 £173.50 for 8 hours work. Never mind any commission you may get from Homelet for Insurance products. I'm in the wrong job. I employ tradesmen who don't make that in 2 days.

Become a letting agent then if that sort of money excites you.

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  • 1 month later...

Meanwhile, across the border Santa arrives early (or late?)

Controls on estate agents to become law by end of the year

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/property/2011/1208/1224308739668.html

Promised since 2005, the changes in the law regulating auctioneers and estate agents mean transparency will be a must from now on

LONG-AWAITED controls of estate agents are expected to be law by the end of the year. Promised since 2005, the changes will impose significant controls and sanctions on the activities of estate agents, including auctioneers, for the first time in the history of the State.

They arise following disquiet at the behaviour of some estate agents during the boom years. “Out-dated, inappropriate and inadequate for the present-day market,” was former Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell’s 2005 damning indictment of the law, which is still with us six years on. But change is imminent. Among the measures will be:

* A Government agency, the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA), already set-up informally in Navan, will control entry to the estate agency business. It will replace the District Court and Revenue Commissioners.

* The PSRA will investigate complaints against estate agents. Sanctions will extend to revoking an estate agent’s licence.

* Estate agents will be required to issue a clear letter of engagement to clients and to set out their estimated fees in real money terms, and not just as a simple percentage of sale price.

* Managing agents of apartment blocks will be controlled for the first time.

* Letting agents will be controlled for the first time.

* The sale prices of individual houses and apartments will be made public.

* The estimated sale price given by estate agents to hopeful buyers must not be less than the advised market value given to the vendors. The misguiding “guide price” syndrome will be no more.

* Estate agents cannot also work for the purchaser getting a mortgage on a property without the vendor’s agreement.

* Vendors will be banned from bidding for their own properties.

* A code of practice for estate agents has been published by the PSRA emphasising “core values” that are to be honoured.

* Estate agents must retain a written record of all offers in a private treaty sale.

Transparency will be in and questionable behaviour will be out. Lessons have been learned by a chastened public.

When the market comes back, this time the law will be there in support

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Meanwhile, across the border Santa arrives early (or late?)

Controls on estate agents to become law by end of the year

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/property/2011/1208/1224308739668.html

Promised since 2005, the changes in the law regulating auctioneers and estate agents mean transparency will be a must from now on

LONG-AWAITED controls of estate agents are expected to be law by the end of the year. Promised since 2005, the changes will impose significant controls and sanctions on the activities of estate agents, including auctioneers, for the first time in the history of the State.

They arise following disquiet at the behaviour of some estate agents during the boom years. “Out-dated, inappropriate and inadequate for the present-day market,” was former Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell’s 2005 damning indictment of the law, which is still with us six years on. But change is imminent. Among the measures will be:

* A Government agency, the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA), already set-up informally in Navan, will control entry to the estate agency business. It will replace the District Court and Revenue Commissioners.

* The PSRA will investigate complaints against estate agents. Sanctions will extend to revoking an estate agent’s licence.

* Estate agents will be required to issue a clear letter of engagement to clients and to set out their estimated fees in real money terms, and not just as a simple percentage of sale price.

* Managing agents of apartment blocks will be controlled for the first time.

* Letting agents will be controlled for the first time.

* The sale prices of individual houses and apartments will be made public.

* The estimated sale price given by estate agents to hopeful buyers must not be less than the advised market value given to the vendors. The misguiding “guide price” syndrome will be no more.

* Estate agents cannot also work for the purchaser getting a mortgage on a property without the vendor’s agreement.

* Vendors will be banned from bidding for their own properties.

* A code of practice for estate agents has been published by the PSRA emphasising “core values” that are to be honoured.

* Estate agents must retain a written record of all offers in a private treaty sale.

Transparency will be in and questionable behaviour will be out. Lessons have been learned by a chastened public.

When the market comes back, this time the law will be there in support

QUICK QUICK CLOSE THE GATE!!!!!!

NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Too late that horse is gone.

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QUICK QUICK CLOSE THE GATE!!!!!!

NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Too late that horse is gone.

Well on one hand I appreciate the sentiment, but on the other.. seriously though, the EAs did not cause the boom, that would be giving them too much credit. Yes it needed cleaning, but they are a soft target 'low hanging fruit', the real perpetrators are still at it and avoiding significant regulation. It seems noone has the political will to deal with them.

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Such a pity our EA and developer friendly Executive can't tear a page out of their exercise book.

We have all this up here for years. It was the ROI that had no regulation of Estate Agency's. Not sure about the sale's price being made public in a private treaty sale. It is in an auction.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Since the start of the year I've phoned an estate agent 15 times on 4 different days looking to view a house. With no answer or an engaged tone. No answer machine even.

Given up and not going to bother again.

These are new builds and I would be tempted to phone the builder and say what's happened.

How do these people run a business? Madness.

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  • 2 months later...

It broadly mirrors what I am seeing in NI but not to the same extremes as we are facing here. We are busier than this time last year but when comparing to historically low levels of transactions, it is not something to get overly excited about. The vast majority of our sales are repos and a large percentage of these are at the low end of the market, sub 80k in the main. I really worry for any EAs who do not have a share of the repossession market as they must be living off scraps and having to deal with deluded vendors on a daily basis. At least the repo companies accept the true value of a property in this market and are prepared to price a property attractively to get it sold.

Our entry level houses have lost close to 60% from peak and I cant see them going down much more, maybe another 5-10% from here followed by a few years of stagnation in prices. The mid level houses need to drop another 15% to be really competitive and the upper level of the market is just a minefield with many EAs simply plucking figures out of the air as they don't know how to value a high end property. Drops at the top could be anything from 10-25% before we get to a realistic level.

It's true that rentals are keeping some EAs in business and for us it provides about a third of our revenue. I would say that our rental market is up to 80% housing benefit subsidised, in my area at least, which shows the high dependence on benefits in parts of NI. This may seem like easy money for a rental company or EA as there will be a steady supply of tenants being backed by the DHSS but as everyone is capable of getting it, there are alot of dodgy applicants to weed out. It also leads to a new breed of letting agent popping up across the country, people who sit in a tiny office or work from home and register on propertypal etc as letting agents. I've seen these people in my area come in and offer ridiculously low fees to landlords and then do the worst job possible, putting in any tenant as long as they stump up a deposit and a months rent in advance. If there's supposedly easy money to be made, every joe wants to do it, whether they are qualified or licensed or not.

I am seeing a slow down in sales these last few weeks and expect that to continue to Christmas and into January so spare a thought for your little local EA who is all alone and lonely over winter. Maybe pop in and have a chat about one of their high end properties, giving them some hope that you may be a genuine buyer. It will brighten up their day and maybe make their Christmas a whole lot more special.

Were you flattened by the stamp duty rush?

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  • 1 month later...

Has anyone else noticed this going on ... or perhaps I could get a response from Realisitic EA about this.

I was led to believe by a 'friend' who is a 'friend of an EA' that they had a lot of repo's on their books, I phoned them up and was told they hadn't. I was duly suspicious about this as I was told it from a reasonable source in the first place.

I have since noticed several repo's starting to come onto the market, however it would seem they are being staggered on. No more than one/two at a time by this EA.

Is this a tactic of the EA??? are they trying to avoid flooding the market with repo's?? It seems like they are basically selling one or two at a time before putting more onto the market as when they are put onto the market they go reasonably quickly.

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or maybe keeping them for select clients?

Thats a real possibility ... or perhaps keeping them for their friends as this was a genuine 'friend' of this EA who passed on this information.

I can't think of any other reason why they would be whispering this sort of information to their friends and not the general public.

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Thats a real possibility ... or perhaps keeping them for their friends as this was a genuine 'friend' of this EA who passed on this information.

I can't think of any other reason why they would be whispering this sort of information to their friends and not the general public.

Takes quite a while for a repo to come onto the market.

House beside a friend - they knew something was up from Nov. Tennants given notice in Dec, kicked out in Jan.

System only drained down and electricity turned off this week.

EA handling case has valued property but waiting for bank to decide upon value to market property.

They know this as same EA had valued their house with a view to marketing it, EA has even offered them a viewing!

EA told them they just have to wait for the banks to decide on marketing figure before they can proceed.

I take it from this that there are repo properties out there but it's the banks in their slow processing that's keeping the EAs hands tied.

Doubt in this market that there are masses of secret properties not being marketed.

Both EA and bank apparently obliged to get best market price.

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  • 2 months later...

It's been a while since we got an update from Realistic EA NI on the current state of the market in NI.

I would be interested to hear about repos and how he sees this winter panning out for EAs.

Hi and thanks for remembering about us poor old EAs in this woeful market. I would like to say that I have been ordering a new Jag XF and travelling to the Seychelles for my annual holiday but that couldn't be further from the truth. :(

I probably shouldn't be posting this during the 2 quiestest weeks of the year due to July holidays as my post is going to be overly pessimistic. Ask me in September and I'll probably be feeling a bit more cheery but right now it's absolutely miserable. We have sold ALL of our fairly priced properties (mostly repos) and are faced with the fact that nothing is coming onto the market to replace what we have sold, putting us in a position of having a few overpriced properties and nothing much to sell. I know you all will say to get the overpriced properties off our books or force them to reduce their prices but you can't force some people to see sense and taking them off our books would leave us with empty display boards. People simply aren't selling their homes right now, either holding on until they see things pick up (like that will happen any time soon), or not finding any reasonably priced properties to move to, therefore staying put until more stock hits the market (catch 22).

New repos have been few and far between, with the last one coming on 4 weeks ago and was agreed 3 days later. Repos are generally the only thing selling now but if they dont come on in larger numbers then most EAs wont make enough to survive. I mean those who don't currently diversify into lettings and surveying services and are solely sales focused. Lettings and surveyng keeps us going but sales are all repos and are dwindling. Who knows what the winter will bring but hopefully it;s more realistic new vendors and more repos.

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People simply aren't selling their homes right now, either holding on until they see things pick up (like that will happen any time soon), or not finding any reasonably priced properties to move to, therefore staying put until more stock hits the market (catch 22).

There's an irony about those folk who won't sell their own house at a reasonable price ... but look at potential houses they would like to buy an make a judgement that they are over priced!! :blink:

The market seems virtually non existent ... repo's are selling, Bugger all else is. Confirmation that the housing market is a farce.

Sellers don't actually realise that they are in a standoff with themselves.

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I've noticed a spate of price reductions on big detached properties in the outlying areas of Ballymena, both on the Glenravel side and the Ahoghill side. These start to look like decent value until you start to factor in travel and heating costs which would surely amount to £100s a month.

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Anecdotal.

Talking to a local EA last week. Seemed quite realistic and acutely aware of current (especially local) conditions - right price will sell but many EAs are not so candid. Discussed a couple of houses that he sold recently. Conspicuous by the fact they were Death/Debt/Divorce ie motivated (which he acknowledged) priced around RV - older detatched and newer terrace - one went for 20% below RV after 6 months (vacant rates, maint costs and family keen to sell as elderly owner passed away) another detached bungalow priced at RV sold within 1 week (not sure actual selling price or circumstance) reasonable location.

However his big bugbear is that banks are not being flexible on repo prices - stubborn on asking price, which he feels is costing him sales. Separately, but connected, have a relative who offered about 15% below RV (cash buyer) on a repo on at £65k about 8 months ago - different EA. He was chased - no negotiation, nothing; told bank wasn't interested. The house sold at auction 8 weeks ago for £48k.

Talking then to Mortgage Advisor in a local bank (not Ulster) just to see my options from earlier enquiries. Surprisingly, he had my house up on his pc, on the LPS site checking its RV when I arrived. He confirmed they were using RV as a value for a deposit of 25% or more - lower deposits required a survey/surveyor. Some areas were tweaked (presumably on the downside) but my area was straight RV. I pointed out the govt survey of 7% below 2005 figures at March :ph34r: Again well clued in and realistic.

His bank was open for lending and keen to do so - business had picked up slightly - but on their terms of affordability, deposit and a buffer of a 4% additional interest rate rise. Again, he was well aware of the market. He was also part time and from another branch - which tells its own story.

He guessed at an average £100k selling price but said it was quite variable. Gave an example of a house at £295k, a rare exception, where an offer of £250k was accepted. Sales above £150k were uncommon - £200k was get the champagne out time.

I can't speak for the practices of other banks or building societies (though presumably they are equally clued in) but unless paying cash, how can houses be sold above RV used by the bank for a reasonable deposit (some exceptions and inconsistencies excepted). Surely EAs and surveyors also know this when pricing up, not to mention the evidence of the govt report.

I mean really, how difficult can it be?

Edited by Shotoflight
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  • 440 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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