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Will Apartments Ever Represent Good Value?


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So as a FTB looking at the current state of the market with available 2 bed apartments in Belfast what is the general consensus on the usual blocks, seems the below is generally the opinions from any of the threads on here but really are any of them that bad?. Any opinions? Some seem a bit overpriced? Who is paying 180K for an Obel apartment with electric heating..... Looking for under the 190K mark

Arc - Seem about the best in terms of looks, build quality and the area - 184K for a 2 bed (imagine without any view) although as not all of these sold I would be surprised if you couldn't do a decent deal

Obel - looks old inside and out with electric heating doesn't sound great and at 180K seems very overpriced - general opinion seems to be avoid

James Clow - Looks decent enough for the money at 160-170K but the location isnt exactly prime but with potential for movement on the price would it be worth it?

Victoria Place - Penthouse for 185K looks decent although probably a no go given the location and bonfire damage etc

Queens Square - Looks small and struggle for light with the prices at 200K+ seems a bit overpriced 

Custom House - Nice apartment and location but at 220K bit expensive

Margarita Plaza - Looks good all round although is it worth 170K?

St Annes - Nice apartment although noise could be an issue and also at 200K bit expensive

The Bakery - At 200K+ seems expensive but do look decent in terms of the apartment

Haven't really seen many others that interest me.  Could look at 1 beds but seen a good few of these online and would worry about the resale value as they seem to sit on PP for a lifetime. Also the 1 beds would generally follow the same points as above.

Does the convenience of buying an apartment in Belfast close to work worth the fact that they are slightly overpriced? 

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On 09/06/2020 at 17:59, Amateur FTB said:

So as a FTB looking at the current state of the market with available 2 bed apartments in Belfast

For those prices you could get a 2 (or 3 bedroom) house in Belfast in a nice area.

Why do you want an apartment?

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Young professional so city centre apartments represent the convenient option with the rental value appearing good so in a few years when I may look to move to a house etc I can look at this as an option.  

Suppose its easy to say they are all over priced but looking at the current offering of apartments in the city centre they really don't seem to represent good value but to have those asking prices some people must be paying close too them which is what I dont understand...

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I never think apartments represent good value, I think for young people living and working in the city centre it is fantastic for a few years, so rent, long term the management fees add up, they are generally noisy and maintainance can be a major problem, the other thing that no one ever considers when buying an apartment is the lift, windows communal areas etc, a lift in an apartment block has a life of about 25 years max, they don’t put commercial lifts in them, a lot of the main apartment blocks are coming to that age, again doors, windows and communal windows are the same, they all have to be replaced, roof repairs, communal hallways, I realise private houses have ongoing maintainance but this is a expense that a lot of people don’t think about when purchasing 

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32 minutes ago, Amateur FTB said:

Young professional so city centre apartments represent the convenient option with the rental value appearing good so in a few years when I may look to move to a house etc I can look at this as an option.  

Suppose its easy to say they are all over priced but looking at the current offering of apartments in the city centre they really don't seem to represent good value but to have those asking prices some people must be paying close too them which is what I dont understand...

If you are or have any aspiration to become a higher rate tax payer and are buying with a mortgage, then section 24 pretty much ends your BTL dream. Particularly on a flat at those values. The rental just isn't large enough after rates and management charges and your tax bill. You'll end up subsidising your tenant. 

Belfast city centre is tiny. Even for culchies, a few months and your realise this. 20 mins on the bus in. 

Rent for a year or two. Now's the time to do if with the airbnb model pretty much destroyed. Renters market. 

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I have considered renting but always think that at £750+ a month for a 1 bed is expensive when I could buy etc.  Points you raised about lifts, windows and doors etc in communal areas isn't something that I would of thought of to be honest so definitely building age is something I would look into a little more closely.

After a few years I would probably move again to a house and garden etc and rather than selling I looked at letting as a way of keeping an apartment as an asset until the resale value is worth getting rid of it, not really a long term BTL idea.  

With the amount of properties for rent on PP in the city centre it couldn't be long before rental prices drop significantly. As you say the airbnb model looks like it will be gone for some time.  With the impeding downturn that is to come I would of thought that a lot of these 180K+ apartments in Belfast will be hard to move at those rates. 

 

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20 minutes ago, Amateur FTB said:

I have considered renting but always think that at £750+ a month for a 1 bed is expensive when I could buy etc.  Points you raised about lifts, windows and doors etc in communal areas isn't something that I would of thought of to be honest so definitely building age is something I would look into a little more closely.

After a few years I would probably move again to a house and garden etc and rather than selling I looked at letting as a way of keeping an apartment as an asset until the resale value is worth getting rid of it, not really a long term BTL idea.  

With the amount of properties for rent on PP in the city centre it couldn't be long before rental prices drop significantly. As you say the airbnb model looks like it will be gone for some time.  With the impeding downturn that is to come I would of thought that a lot of these 180K+ apartments in Belfast will be hard to move at those rates. 

 

Rents will be negotiable at the moment. Definitely those city centre ones with multiple units for rent. 

Worth remembering £250+ of that rent will go to service charge, rates and ground rent. 

You'd be absolutely bonkers buying a flat with the time scales you're talking. 

Rent for a year now that it's cheaper. Let the landlord subsidise you. Save money, buy a house. The city centre nightlife wont be that good for a while so you'll not need those extra 15 minutes in bed. 

Edited by 2buyornot2buy
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I can't think of a worse time in the last decade to be contemplating buying a city centre apartment.

I could spell out all the risks but it's been done a million times before, and now you have the addition of the city centre 'nightlife' involving social distancing for the foreseeable future.

I got lucky with my flat, I love living in it, but I'd never buy one. Just too many things that can go wrong, and it's not like they're even cheap.

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Oh and I just read the last few posts and see my fellow posters have explained the downsides very well. :)

Hopefully that should encourage you not to waste your money! Oh and if someone's looking 750 for a one bedder they're ripping you off.

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Agree on the points stated with risk etc, more the thought of spending a considerable amount of money per month on rent when the difference on a mortgage etc isn't that vast.  Also with the general consensus being there will be a drop in housing prices coming in the not too distant future surely these city centre apartments will be the first victim with regard price cuts?  When all of the Arc apartments for example arent sold after this long surely the developer will have to adjust from their 180K+ for a 2 bed.

Rent of £750 seems a common rate per month for a one bed, someone is actually looking £750 pm for a 1 bed in The Gallery which is madness considering it looks like a shoe box. 

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50 minutes ago, Amateur FTB said:

Rent of £750 seems a common rate per month for a one bed, someone is actually looking £750 pm for a 1 bed in The Gallery which is madness considering it looks like a shoe box. 

If you're considering the gallery then your probably better stealing money from the Tesco across the street and going to jail - you'll probably get more space in a cell than in one of those shoeboxes ;)

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  • 415 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% +
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      • up 5%



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