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Looking at quite a few houses at the moment which includes newer developments. One thing I have noticed is a lot of the newer developments, don't have proper fences/walls/hedges defining the boundary (at the front). Was this some stupid planning policy or is it just a way of hiding how small the plot of land is? Would put me off a lot of newer developments. Maybe BelfastVI would know?

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And the plot size is tiny. There is usually an inferior back garden and no parking/drive.

Once the planning system is liberalized by generation X&Y these types of property will be unsaleable.

Edited by Gone to Ireland.

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Looking at quite a few houses at the moment which includes newer developments. One thing I have noticed is a lot of the newer developments, don't have proper fences/walls/hedges defining the boundary (at the front). Was this some stupid planning policy or is it just a way of hiding how small the plot of land is? Would put me off a lot of newer developments. Maybe BelfastVI would know?

Check with your local planning office, in parts of the New Forest, your not allowed a boundary fence/wall/hedge to the front of of your property, but in recent years that law has been relaxed and low in height boundaries have beem allowed. But it didnt stop some people anyway

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A friend of mine was at the Coopers Mill development in dundonald and people were virtually queuing up to buy them - the thinks that even though they're smaller than older houses, they are selling alot faster because people don't want the hassle/money pit of having to look after a 100 year old house vs having a brand spanking new one!

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A friend of mine was at the Coopers Mill development in dundonald and people were virtually queuing up to buy them - the thinks that even though they're smaller than older houses, they are selling alot faster because people don't want the hassle/money pit of having to look after a 100 year old house vs having a brand spanking new one!

I think the ipad generation can't see past the shiny kitchen. They can't visualise a new kitchen in an old house. They want it easy, now now now.

I seriously don't think your average coopers mill buyer is thinking about maintenance costs.

Queuing up to live beside Ballybeen. Each to their own I guess.

Same houses as bracken Hill but cheaper, I guess that helps.

Ps this is my generation.

Edited by 2buyornot2buy

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I think the ipad generation can't see past the shiny kitchen. They can't visualise a new kitchen in an old house. They want it easy, now now now.

I seriously don't think your average coopers mill buyer is thinking about maintenance costs.

Queuing up to live beside Ballybeen. Each to their own I guess.

Same houses as bracken Hill but cheaper, I guess that helps.

Ps this is my generation.

There's something that must appeal to people with regards to brand spanking new houses, whenever older houses in good condition that are bigger and far closer to Belfast aren't selling as easily.

Mate was saying that they were nice enough but the semi-detached houses only had one reception room (I remember in the old days when most semi's...heck even alot of terraced houses had two...) and he also said that the show house was deceptively spacious due to the fact that it had no stuff in it beyond the furniture. Once you actually get all your stuff into your new house, it will seem alot smaller.

Personally I wouldn't want to live out where Coopers Mill is and don't see the attraction; perhaps everyone has cars nowadays so don't much care how close to the city centre/ect...that they live? Perhaps it's easier to get a mortgage on a brand new house?

Edited by JoeDavola

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There's something that must appeal to people with regards to brand spanking new houses, whenever older houses in good condition that are bigger and far closer to Belfast aren't selling as easily.

Mate was saying that they were nice enough but the semi-detached houses only had one reception room (I remember in the old days when most semi's...heck even alot of terraced houses had two...) and he also said that the show house was deceptively spacious due to the fact that it had no stuff in it beyond the furniture. Once you actually get all your stuff into your new house, it will seem alot smaller.

Personally I wouldn't want to live out where Coopers Mill is and don't see the attraction; perhaps everyone has cars nowadays so don't much care how close to the city centre/ect...that they live? Perhaps it's easier to get a mortgage on a brand new house?

I really do think it's simply because they are newer and cheaper. Well when I say cheaper, I mean they appear cheaper when you look at number of rooms but on actually sq foot I'd doubt it.

The EAs dress them well and people get suckered in.

I notice that even the detached 4 bed new builds have only one reception. It's also mad how they pack the bedrooms in.

No doubt about it, our new builds are gradually getting smaller and smaller.

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For quite some time the rules for planing developments have insisted on open plan for the front of houses. Therefore there are no fences allowed between the houses to the front.

Since about 2002 there are also rules around common open space. In all developments, above 25 units you have to provide a minimum of 10% common open space, owned by the residents in the form of a management company. This is increased to 15% in larger schemes. You can argue both ways on this but it is something older developments will not have.

In general house sized have become larger. you only have to look at the houses that the councils build all over Belfast over the last 50 to 100 years. they were absolutely packed in. I lived in the Holylands and later in Sunnyside. None of the houses had a back garden. they had a small yard. That has all changed.

Houses now have to have a downstairs, disability accessed WC. A good thing in my view but it has pushed up the floor plate size.

I note the above about garden size. I have had in recent years people picking one plot over another because the garden was 'smaller'. They didn't want to maintain the larger garden. I don't agree with that view but today's FTBer's don't want to own a lawnmower!

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Come on. Hardly comparing apples with apples there. You seriously don't believe average house and plot size has been dropping for years? You said the majority of your sales are semis. How does the plot and house size compare to your average semi in the same area? The majority of two up two downs will have extensions and loft conversions.

The majority of new build semis and detached are way smaller than the resell equivalent.

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Come on. Hardly comparing apples with apples there. You seriously don't believe average house and plot size has been dropping for years? You said the majority of your sales are semis. How does the plot and house size compare to your average semi in the same area? The majority of two up two downs will have extensions and loft conversions.

The majority of new build semis and detached are way smaller than the resell equivalent.

+1

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Argh, rant, not done this in a while so here goes!

Little parking, no pavements, garages you cant fit a decent car in even if you can squeeze past the house next door but bye bye garden if you ask for one, single roads (they might make them wiggly too so some people only get 93cm of grass out front instead of 117cm). I bet there has to be a development where the bigger wheely bins don't fit down the air gaps between houses.

The houses are also crammed together in such a way that seems to defy possibility when you stand in the back garden and count the number of windows looking in in you, the back garden is big enough for a whirly clothes thing but mind your eye while walking around your boundary cause there will be two places it might poke you.

After a few years of wear and tear they start to look bad, pebbled drives covered in weeds, even the 1m strip out the front isn't maintained as they don't want to own a lawnmower, just get a bit of fake grass or something people. But hey, less is more. For that matter they don't want to own a paintbrush to fix the thinnest layer of varnish/paint applied to everything that's now looking shocking, maybe there's no room in the house for a paintbrush. If the majority of your neighbours are of the sort that don't get simple maintenance?

Kids have nowhere to play, bikes and toys strewn all over the place, and that communal "space" is at the front of the development where the show house was is landscaped so not usable and only of benefit to a very few houses.

No storage space inside the house, attic storage impeded by rafter supports, small rooms been covered already.

But never mind they are pretty, shiny and have good energy ratings because they are so damn small.

Now the above isn't every development but even the better ones have some of the above going on. Those that have every one of the above features really are going to be screwed in the future. I have one nearby that fits nearly all of the above and looks unbelievably rough as if those that live there really don't give a flying huck. Some of these look worse than any of the social housing estates nearby which don't have most of the above problems either.

All that said, I'm overjoyed people around my age are buying these things, finding a decent place would be a lot harder if these people could see beyond the sales brochures.

Grumpy old man rant over!

Edited by Sure thing!

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Argh, rant, not done this in a while so here goes!

Little parking, no pavements, garages you cant fit a decent car in even if you can squeeze past the house next door but bye bye garden if you ask for one, single roads (they might make them wiggly too so some people only get 93cm of grass out front instead of 117cm). I bet there has to be a development where the bigger wheely bins don't fit down the air gaps between houses.

The houses are also crammed together in such a way that seems to defy possibility when you stand in the back garden and count the number of windows looking in in you, the back garden is big enough for a whirly clothes thing but mind your eye while walking around your boundary cause there will be two places it might poke you.

After a few years of wear and tear they start to look bad, pebbled drives covered in weeds, even the 1m strip out the front isn't maintained as they don't want to own a lawnmower, just get a bit of fake grass or something people. But hey, less is more. For that matter they don't want to own a paintbrush to fix the thinnest layer of varnish/paint applied to everything that's now looking shocking, maybe there's no room in the house for a paintbrush. If the majority of your neighbours are of the sort that don't get simple maintenance?

Kids have nowhere to play, bikes and toys strewn all over the place, and that communal "space" is at the front of the development where the show house was is landscaped so not usable and only of benefit to a very few houses.

No storage space inside the house, attic storage impeded by rafter supports, small rooms been covered already.

But never mind they are pretty, shiny and have good energy ratings because they are so damn small.

Now the above isn't every development but even the better ones have some of the above going on. Those that have every one of the above features really are going to be screwed in the future. I have one nearby that fits nearly all of the above and looks unbelievably rough as if those that live there really don't give a flying huck. Some of these look worse than any of the social housing estates nearby which don't have most of the above problems either.

All that said, I'm overjoyed people around my age are buying these things, finding a decent place would be a lot harder if these people could see beyond the sales brochures.

Grumpy old man rant over!

+1

Spot on.

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to compare apples with apples are we talking about new houses built today and houses that were new 20,30 40 or more years ago. Some of the same builders around today built them too. Was there a golden age of mass house building? I'm not so sure. The majority of housing in Belfast is the terrace housing I mentioned above. If you look on Google Earth you will see 10's of thousands of them packed in. They have little or no rear gardens and usually no parking. No common areas or open space, no landscaping etc.

Yes there are better houses in the more affluent areas of Belfast and there are some beautiful houses and streets of houses in areas like stranmills, ravinhill and in other areas off the Antrim road, Glen Road Conswater etc. But these houses were always more expensive (until some areas took a dive with the troubles).

I agree some builders, particularly in apartments went smaller and smaller but I don't agree that the average new housing development today compared less favourably with the average (then new) development from the 70's, 80,s or 90,s (I built some of them).

I don't get the bit about paintbrushes. Most houses today have maintenance free windows and fascia boards etc. Yes we still put wooden windows in the more upmarket houses but the wood comes treated and will last longer that the stranded windows that were put in 30 years ago. If you buy an older house, you generally will have more of this to do not less.

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to compare apples with apples are we talking about new houses built today and houses that were new 20,30 40 or more years ago. Some of the same builders around today built them too. Was there a golden age of mass house building? I'm not so sure. The majority of housing in Belfast is the terrace housing I mentioned above. If you look on Google Earth you will see 10's of thousands of them packed in. They have little or no rear gardens and usually no parking. No common areas or open space, no landscaping etc.

Yes there are better houses in the more affluent areas of Belfast and there are some beautiful houses and streets of houses in areas like stranmills, ravinhill and in other areas off the Antrim road, Glen Road Conswater etc. But these houses were always more expensive (until some areas took a dive with the troubles).

I agree some builders, particularly in apartments went smaller and smaller but I don't agree that the average new housing development today compared less favourably with the average (then new) development from the 70's, 80,s or 90,s (I built some of them).

I don't get the bit about paintbrushes. Most houses today have maintenance free windows and fascia boards etc. Yes we still put wooden windows in the more upmarket houses but the wood comes treated and will last longer that the stranded windows that were put in 30 years ago. If you buy an older house, you generally will have more of this to do not less.

Just some examples

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2398714/The-incredible-shrinking-houses-British-homes-built-just-HALF-size-1920s.html

The incredible shrinking houses: The average new British home is now just 925 square feet – barely HALF the size they were in the 1920s

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14916580

'Shoebox homes' become the UK norm

And houses are getting smaller. The average UK home - including older and new-build properties is 85 sq m and has 5.2 rooms - with an average area of 16.3 sq m per room.

In comparison the average new home in the UK is 76 sq ms and has 4.8 rooms with an average area of 15.8 sq m per room.

http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/how-big-is-a-house

http://metro.co.uk/2013/04/23/britain-has-smallest-homes-in-europe-and-getting-smaller-claims-riba-3662318/

No doubt about it, our houses have been getting smaller. How many more links do you need?

Edited by 2buyornot2buy

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Any for Northern Ireland?

Britain's houses have always been smaller than most other regions. In one of the reports listed above it says houses are 15% larger in Ireland than Britain. Not sure if they are only referring to the south.

I dont know if any info is available from Building control to look at this issue. They charge on a sq footage basis so should have some data. Its something I would like to see over a 30 or 40 year span. I think we are all aware of the glut of apartments during the boom but if we look at the housing stock overall and compare what is going up now compared to what is being taken down I would be of the opinion that the housing is more spacious and built to a lower density. Any redevelopment that I know about or heard about, apart from high-rise is normally always replacement of existing stock with less.

You obviously have the garden grab and the development of site that formally had only one house on 3 acres but when we get into the urban footprint (as the planners refer to it) the existing stock that we are replacing was cramped and, even if I wanted to the current regulations would never allow me to replace like for like.

Edited by BelfastVI

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Any for Northern Ireland?

Britain's houses have always been smaller than most other regions. In one of the reports listed above it says houses are 15% larger in Ireland than Britain. Not sure if they are only referring to the south.

I dont know if any info is available from Building control to look at this issue. They charge on a sq footage basis so should have some data. Its something I would like to see over a 30 or 40 year span. I think we are all aware of the glut of apartments during the boom but if we look at the housing stock overall and compare what is going up now compared to what is being taken down I would be of the opinion that the housing is more spacious and built to a lower density. Any redevelopment that I know about or heard about, apart from high-rise is normally always replacement of existing stock with less.

You obviously have the garden grab and the development of site that formally had only one house on 3 acres but when we get into the urban footprint (as the planners refer to it) the existing stock that we are replacing was cramped and, even if I wanted to the current regulations would never allow me to replace like for like.

Maybe a poll is in order to see who agrees with you.

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Any for Northern Ireland?

Britain's houses have always been smaller than most other regions. In one of the reports listed above it says houses are 15% larger in Ireland than Britain. Not sure if they are only referring to the south.

I dont know if any info is available from Building control to look at this issue. They charge on a sq footage basis so should have some data. Its something I would like to see over a 30 or 40 year span. I think we are all aware of the glut of apartments during the boom but if we look at the housing stock overall and compare what is going up now compared to what is being taken down I would be of the opinion that the housing is more spacious and built to a lower density. Any redevelopment that I know about or heard about, apart from high-rise is normally always replacement of existing stock with less.

You obviously have the garden grab and the development of site that formally had only one house on 3 acres but when we get into the urban footprint (as the planners refer to it) the existing stock that we are replacing was cramped and, even if I wanted to the current regulations would never allow me to replace like for like.

VI - do you no thitnk there's an element of survivor bias in the developments you see being replaced - i.e. the ones being replaced were smaller, built to poorer specifications, etc and so have not stood the test of time - but well designed, reasonably spacious developments have fared better and so have no need to be redeveloped?

Just my 2 cents - I'm no expert in this area at all!

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to compare apples with apples are we talking about new houses built today and houses that were new 20,30 40 or more years ago. Some of the same builders around today built them too.

Interestingly one of the local builders that 20 years ago built good sized 4/5 bedroom detached houses on decent plots has been adding to their developments, you now drive through all the older big houses to find what almost appear to be miniature toy houses in the new bit. Now I'd have no trouble buying one of theirs from the earlier era but not now, and anyone that has been around for a while will make the same observation. That said if I had to buy a small new house, I'd likely go for one of theirs.

Edited by Sure thing!

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Interestingly one of the local builders that 20 years ago built good sized 4/5 bedroom detached houses on decent plots has been adding to their developments, you now drive through all the older big houses to find what almost appear to be miniature toy houses in the new bit. Now I'd have no trouble buying one of theirs from the earlier era but not now, and anyone that has been around for a while will make the same observation. That said if I had to buy a small new house, I'd likely go for one of theirs.

I see the same thing. Same builder with decent sized older stock on good plots and plenty of parking now building rabbit hutches.

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Interestingly one of the local builders that 20 years ago built good sized 4/5 bedroom detached houses on decent plots has been adding to their developments, you now drive through all the older big houses to find what almost appear to be miniature toy houses in the new bit. Now I'd have no trouble buying one of theirs from the earlier era but not now, and anyone that has been around for a while will make the same observation. That said if I had to buy a small new house, I'd likely go for one of theirs.

Dont know the specifics but the country is not covered with 4/5 bedroom houses of yesterday. That was not the norm.

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VI - do you no thitnk there's an element of survivor bias in the developments you see being replaced - i.e. the ones being replaced were smaller, built to poorer specifications, etc and so have not stood the test of time - but well designed, reasonably spacious developments have fared better and so have no need to be redeveloped?

Just my 2 cents - I'm no expert in this area at all!

I mostly work in greater Belfast. The majortiy of housing that requires replacement is 50 year plus council housing in north, west and east Belfast. Donegall Goad could perhaps be called South Belfast. This was the mass dousing development of yesteryear and they should have been replaced long ago. the majority have no cavity, no insulation and some with no inside tolets etc. They are small and have no gardens front or rear. There are 10's of thousands of them. The 4/5 bedroom detached. mentioned above where not the typical mass development of the past.

There are fine examples of both great architecture and great workmanship out there. labour was obviously a cheaper commodity as the time, skill and shear craftsmanship on certain buildings are something to behold. I have recently viewed the Believer Hospital site and whilst past its design use it in, in places well worth retaining. However the general housing, built for the working class (who in those days worked)was not good in either design or build quality and needs to come down. They will be replaced with much larger, better build and by far more energy efficient houses. you could refer to those old houses as rabit hutches if you want but they were not for rabbits they were for people and much larger families than we have today. they may have been constructed at 25 to the acre. I just measured an acre of housing in one area of Old Belfast (north). I counted over 30 houses. We typically build at 12 to the acre. for terrace housing we might get that up to 17 to the acre. In England, under PPS3 they want higher densities but not in NI.

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I mostly work in greater Belfast. The majortiy of housing that requires replacement is 50 year plus council housing in north, west and east Belfast. Donegall Goad could perhaps be called South Belfast. This was the mass dousing development of yesteryear and they should have been replaced long ago. the majority have no cavity, no insulation and some with no inside tolets etc. They are small and have no gardens front or rear. There are 10's of thousands of them. The 4/5 bedroom detached. mentioned above where not the typical mass development of the past.

There are fine examples of both great architecture and great workmanship out there. labour was obviously a cheaper commodity as the time, skill and shear craftsmanship on certain buildings are something to behold. I have recently viewed the Believer Hospital site and whilst past its design use it in, in places well worth retaining. However the general housing, built for the working class (who in those days worked)was not good in either design or build quality and needs to come down. They will be replaced with much larger, better build and by far more energy efficient houses. you could refer to those old houses as rabit hutches if you want but they were not for rabbits they were for people and much larger families than we have today. they may have been constructed at 25 to the acre. I just measured an acre of housing in one area of Old Belfast (north). I counted over 30 houses. We typically build at 12 to the acre. for terrace housing we might get that up to 17 to the acre. In England, under PPS3 they want higher densities but not in NI.

So you are looking at social housing being replaced by social housing? In a city where the population has decreased by 30% since 1970?

Edited by 2buyornot2buy

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So you are looking at social housing being replaced by social housing? In a city where the population has decreased by 30% since 1970?

I am looking at the mass housing of the past that is being replaced by the mass housing of today, whether social or private. I dont thing the pop decrease of Belfast has anything to do with planning regulations in terms of housing layout. Today if you want high density development you have to go up. But, in my opinion the standard housing development is to a lower density than the majority of what it is replacing from the past. when you add in the fact that the standard family size has fallen dramatically from what it was you can see the overall improvement in housing.

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I am looking at the mass housing of the past that is being replaced by the mass housing of today, whether social or private. I dont thing the pop decrease of Belfast has anything to do with planning regulations in terms of housing layout. Today if you want high density development you have to go up. But, in my opinion the standard housing development is to a lower density than the majority of what it is replacing from the past. when you add in the fact that the standard family size has fallen dramatically from what it was you can see the overall improvement in housing.

Right... And what's happeing with the private 3 bed semi/4 bed detached market?

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