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An Interested Observer

£1M Houses In Bt9?

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Long time visitor to the HPC forums and after reading the "is the crash over" discussion, I finally decided to jump in with my first post :)

I should also post a disclaimer straight off that not everyone will identify or empathise with my question. I'm only posting as I've come to really value the insights on this forum and hope that you all find the discussion interesting.

That said...

I've been living in Belfast since the late 90s, bought here in the early 2000s and got stung badly when I moved house in 2006 :(

My wife and I now have a family and are thinking about a move. We're in the *very* fortunate position of being able to afford a more expensive house and have saved enough of a deposit to take a step up from our 4 bed semi, but after our last experience want to make sure that whatever we do now is a good decision. We want this to be our last move if we can.

What I'm finding is that because there are so few houses available at the upper end of the market, it's hard to get a good idea of what something is worth. And asking prices might not be the same as sold prices :)

A quick search on propertynews for BT9 returns this: http://www.propertynews.com/search/247887549/

I guess I'm surprised that there still quite a few £1m+ houses, plenty of houses in the £500k-£1m mark and that as you start to drop below £500k you don't really get that much house for your money, especially in comparison to other parts of town.

For example:

* 39 Malone Park - £1.95m just listed (164% of the LPS 2005 valuation)

* 21 Malone Park - £1.75m just listed (109% of the LPS 2005 valuation)

* 40 Malone Park - £1.2m sale agreed (75% of the LPS 2005 valuation)

* 23 Malone Park - £1.25m unsold (100% of the LPS 2005 valuation)

* 152 Malone Road - £1.05m unsold (100% of the LPS 2005 valuation)

..just for starters.

The LPS NI valuation doesn't take into account property condition and these houses range from award winning architecture to needing renovation / refurbishment.

So - here are my questions for the forum.

The RPPI shows that prices for detached houses in Belfast are on average down 5% against 2005 (vs 11% for all properties in Northern Ireland).

* to what extent does this hold up for houses at the upper end of the market (eg 500k+)?

* is there really a market for these houses in Belfast or are the sellers just completely unrealistic?

* what's the likelihood that house prices will continue to fall? Will detached houses in BT9 always command such big premiums?

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I think the volume of sales in this category is worth remembering. Only small numbers are actually completing and there are many large detached homes that have been on the market for over a year, some of which are now decreasing in asking price. The buyers for those that do complete are likely to have fairly atypical circumstances (i.e. large cash/asset piles).

I for one would fear a highly leveraged position on a trophy house in belfast, mostly because of interest rate exposure but also as the prospect of capital gain is in my view minimal. On the other hand if I had a million quid in cash/stocks/gold I might be inclined to convert some or all of it to something tangible and useful.

Would be a nice problem to have!

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I guess I'm surprised that there still quite a few £1m+ houses, plenty of houses in the £500k-£1m mark and that as you start to drop below £500k you don't really get that much house for your money, especially in comparison to other parts of town.

* to what extent does this hold up for houses at the upper end of the market (eg 500k+)?

* is there really a market for these houses in Belfast or are the sellers just completely unrealistic?

* what's the likelihood that house prices will continue to fall? Will detached houses in BT9 always command such big premiums?

My opinion only, - it will undoubtedly be contradicted and rubbished by many.

This end of the market is different from other areas. It proves more resistant to falls as people don't need to sell and generally have the money.

Two recent purchases on the park have allegedly been cash purchases.

There is a premium for these houses which are generally very large with significant sized gardens.

Is there a market? Yes

Are sellers unrealistic? - Greater number of sale agreed.

Will house prices fall?, will these properties continue to fall? , possibly but more slowly.

Will detached houses in BT9 always command a premium. Yes.

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I agree £1 million plus BT9 is a different market. The top of the top really.

Lots of old money, many don't need to sell, but Malone Park will have its fair share of fallen property developers.

You really are going to be looking at single digit annual sales in this bracket.

I suggest you get copies of the land registry documents for all £1 million plus sales in the last 2 year.

Plenty of people in Belfast who can afford £1 million plus houses.

Edited by 2buyornot2buy

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Plenty of people in Belfast who can afford £1 million plus houses.

A lot fewer than there were. Many of the wealthy lost fortunes in the stock market meltdown of 2008, particularly in bank shares. As for BTL emperors.....

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A lot fewer than there were. Many of the wealthy lost fortunes in the stock market meltdown of 2008, particularly in bank shares. As for BTL emperors.....

You are right of course but I know plenty members of the judiciary who could drop a mill not a problem.

Then again I also know a few people whose problem isn’t dropping a mill for a house, it’s the tax man not finding out. :ph34r:

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You are right of course but I know plenty members of the judiciary who could drop a mill not a problem.

Then again I also know a few people whose problem isn’t dropping a mill for a house, it’s the tax man not finding out. :ph34r:

Good luck with that. It's getting harder and harder to be a crook . Money laundering rules put a stop to a lot of that carry on.

Ill - gotten gains are of limited value these days. What do you do with 50,000 cash? Clothes. restaurants, drinks? Buy your groceries for the next 20 years? Cars, houses, even investments are out of the question. You could end up giving it away to friends.

Edited by yadayada

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@djw I agree that the volume of sales is very low, which is what makes things so tricky. Sadly, I don't have a million quid in the bank and will be using equity from our current home + savings + mortgage if we move. And I've never actually met anyone who owns gold :)

@2buyornot2buy I think Land Registry info is a great suggestion. It's a shame you can't get it online really. Will let you know what I find.

@yadayada my sense is that a lot of the people who can afford houses at the top of the market already have one, so have little motivation to move. And that many people like myself who aspire to have a bigger house see it as just out of their reach.

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So the data I got from Land Registry shows prices have steadily dropped and settled at or around the LPS 2005 valuation levels:

* 28 Malone Park - December 2006 - £2.01m (LPS £1.1m)

* 38 Malone Park - November 2012 - £1.8m

* 49 Malone Park - June 2010 - £1.8m (LPS £1.3m)

* 150 Malone Road - August 2008 - £1.625m (LPS £1.4m)

* 21 Malone Park - October 2010 - £1.65m (LPS £1.6m)

* 49 Malone Park (again) - May 2012 - £1.33m (LPS £1.3m)

* 18 Malone Park - Feb 2010 - £1.01m (LPS £1.04m)

* 11 Malone Park - October 2013 - £925k (LPS £1.15m)

The brochure for no. 11 is still available at http://c1415082.r82.cf3.rackcdn.com/ECSECS30223/ECSECS30223-1.pdf and it requires a complete renovation which would explain the lower asking price.

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So the data I got from Land Registry shows prices have steadily dropped and settled at or around the LPS 2005 valuation levels:

* 28 Malone Park - December 2006 - £2.01m (LPS £1.1m)

* 38 Malone Park - November 2012 - £1.8m

* 49 Malone Park - June 2010 - £1.8m (LPS £1.3m)

* 150 Malone Road - August 2008 - £1.625m (LPS £1.4m)

* 21 Malone Park - October 2010 - £1.65m (LPS £1.6m)

* 49 Malone Park (again) - May 2012 - £1.33m (LPS £1.3m)

* 18 Malone Park - Feb 2010 - £1.01m (LPS £1.04m)

* 11 Malone Park - October 2013 - £925k (LPS £1.15m)

The brochure for no. 11 is still available at http://c1415082.r82.cf3.rackcdn.com/ECSECS30223/ECSECS30223-1.pdf and it requires a complete renovation which would explain the lower asking price.

Thank you. Looks like they've taken a battering like everything else. Asking prices of course which may bear little relationship to sales prices.

Edited by yadayada

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The lawyer who bought Nick the Greek's specific performance nightmare on Malone Park has just lodged plans for an epic extension.

The "extension" really is epic. Easily doubling the size.

I didn't know it was a lawyer who bought it?

They will fit in nicely, the majority of Malone Park residents are Doctors, Lawyers, accountants and developers. Viva La Service Sector.

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The "extension" really is epic. Easily doubling the size.

I didn't know it was a lawyer who bought it?

They will fit in nicely, the majority of Malone Park residents are Doctors, Lawyers, accountants and developers. Viva La Service Sector.

I'd say the doctors are long established. They fell out of that market a long time ago.

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The "extension" really is epic. Easily doubling the size.

I didn't know it was a lawyer who bought it?

Think it's someone who has worked abroad in a big commercial practice.

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Think it's someone who has worked abroad in a big commercial practice.

Great. Another Porsche Cayenne clogging up the m&s car park.

Blood sucking lawyers...

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Imagine that you were coming back to NI say from Australia

I know someone out there who bought a house for around 250k AUS just before the global financial crash when that was around £100k and sold it for 750k AUS (£500k) and now rents out there for 20k AUS per year.

these types of people could easily be bringing big money back

my neighbours in BT9 are three generations of same family living in a huge house , this house hasnt been on the market for YEARS and I doubt will ever be on the market again for YEARS

I dunno what the right prices are for these properties but certainly they will never go to low low prices. At least your not looking at 3 or 4 million like they were in 2007!

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Very true re returning money. A family member returned recently from England - was amazed at how 'cheap' the top of the market was here and bought quickly. There was competition for a few of the houses they looked at too, mainly from Chinese buyers. Other friends from Spain etc will not however be able to buy what they had expected due to 'losses' in Europe.

I still think it's too expensive for what it is - the address is good - everything else needs work.

Wonder what it will sell at?

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Imagine that you were coming back to NI say from Australia

I know someone out there who bought a house for around 250k AUS just before the global financial crash when that was around £100k and sold it for 750k AUS (£500k) and now rents out there for 20k AUS per year.

these types of people could easily be bringing big money back

my neighbours in BT9 are three generations of same family living in a huge house , this house hasnt been on the market for YEARS and I doubt will ever be on the market again for YEARS

I dunno what the right prices are for these properties but certainly they will never go to low low prices. At least your not looking at 3 or 4 million like they were in 2007!

This looks like probate or possibly care home fees.

Can't imagine there are that many people doing the Aus. thing but there are probably one or two.

Those third generation BT9ers still have to pay the inheritance tax. 40% isn't always easy to find.

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