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I'm sorry to burst your bubble all of you who are dreaming of property in Belfast falling below 100k next year, it isn't going to happen. I'm new to this forum, I am an Estate Agent but I know better than to say what company. But I will say this, that the branch that I work in, we have about 350 properties on the market and since yesterday morning we have agreed 7 sales. Yes, most were agreed below the asking price but there are signs that the market is beginning to stabilise - you can laugh all you want, but remember I do this for a living. Many of the posts in here are from people who seem to consider themselves experts, but on the ground, in reality I can tell you what is happening.

Does this mean property outside Belfast might fall below 100k average? Or do you mean it will take to 2010/2011? ;)

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I'm sorry to burst your bubble all of you who are dreaming of property in Belfast falling below 100k next year, it isn't going to happen. I'm new to this forum, I am an Estate Agent but I know better than to say what company. But I will say this, that the branch that I work in, we have about 350 properties on the market and since yesterday morning we have agreed 7 sales. Yes, most were agreed below the asking price but there are signs that the market is beginning to stabilise - you can laugh all you want, but remember I do this for a living. Many of the posts in here are from people who seem to consider themselves experts, but on the ground, in reality I can tell you what is happening.

Are you referring to an AVERAGE property price of £100k? If so, then yes this is unlikely ever to happen, but I don't think anyone here expects that.

Whether an unnamed EA manages to sell houses or not is completely irrelevant to me. Fact is there's no way I'm paying the prices that houses go for these days. If they continue to stay at this price, adjusted for inflation, I'll just not buy one. Simple.

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Hi, welcome to the forum, it's good to have an EA on board. Be prepared for a little 'stick' but i hope it never gets personal.

Thanks for your anecdotal evidence, it will be interesting to follow the delayed data this year to see what happens.

With regard to 'Many of the posts in here are from people who seem to consider themselves experts'. I think this is wrong and I can show you posts to back this up.

BTW, do you think Belfast will 'buck the trend' or it's a case of the 'trend' is changing?

ps - welcome once again

Firstly, I have to say that I'm pleasantly surprised. I thought that you would practically chop my head off for being an estate agent and I appreciate the kind welcome. A bit of stick is fine by me - used to it.

I'm not going to debate about whether or not people in here consider themselves to be experts, but I have seen a few comments along the lines of 'this house will be worth £60k in a couple of years'. The truth is, God alone knows the future and we can ony guess at what the world markets, and property markets will look like in a couple of years from now.

My guess is that we will see the property market bottom out here (and I think it now has) and then, a much more slow and cautious growth of perhaps 10% each year. I have an old copy of property news from 1996 and when I compared it to a 2006 copy, the growth was 10% per year - that was before the boom really got going and that's where I think we'll go back to.

Belfast, well...I think it will steady off over the rest of this year and then start to rise again, but slowly. It's hard to see what's going to happen on the whole political front but there does seem to be a lot more cross-border business happening. Of course, people will have differing attitudes as to whether that's good or bad. Belfast is looking better and better all the time, with that new shopping centre that looks like the top was chopped off London's gurkin and the Belfast mini version of the London eye, Titanic quarter, IKEA, an expanding GB Belfast City Airport - I think Belfast property will do very well in the years to come. I'd nearly be tempted to buy in Belfast myself, but you do get much more for your money living in the sticks! And people might say the distance and the travelling isn't worth it, but really our country aint that big and the whole westlink roadworks have got to help the traffic flows.

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Personally I'm looking to buy when rural houses go back to 2005 + 15% which I think is a fair market price since the ones I am looking for are over 20 years old - have biggish gardens and are out in the sticks. Keep posting - we are interested in your opinion.

Sorry, I meant to say earlier - by the end of today we were up to 9 sales agreed since the weekend. (That does include sites in new developments being booked) but for the majority they weren't reliant on people selling a property. Someone mentioned before that sales being agreed is different than a completion. I'm well aware of that. Two of those sales were to one investor, so they're back in.

Also, people often have strong opinions about estate agents, the game they play, how we try to drive the market, etc. At the end of the day, much of what you see on the market is driven largely by vendors. I don't know how many times I've been out to give someone's property a market appraisal (some may say a valuation) and the home owner has said, 'No, I think it's worth more than that - I think it should go on the market at...' Of course, we can tactfully try to suggest that in our professional opinion, compared to other similar properties in the area.... but at the same time we are competing for business. If I say 'Mr Bloggs, your house should go on the market at £150k' and a competitor goes out and says 'put in on the market at £160k' - 9 times out of 10, they'll go with the other guy. For us, that's life.

I may not like anyone's response to this, but what do you feel is fair for an estate agents % commission? BUT, before you answer - here are some things to consider:

1. In N.Ireland (and the UK in general) estate agents earn the lowest commissions out of pretty much anywhere else in the world - you go to France or Spain and you'll probably pay 3-4% to your estate agent

2. No one questions capital gains tax at 1% [for properties between £125k and £250k], solicitors charge probably about 1%. So, can we estate agents not charge 1% ?

3. Some agents are cowboys - should those who are qualified charge more to differentiate themselves? After all, you're more likely to be better protected by those who are part of a professional body or ombudsman scheme.

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In Scotland I paid 1.5% for a first class agent fully qualified and years of experience.

I objected to going into EAs and being ignored while staff continued with their private conversations - happened dozens of times. Its different now at least they notice you are in the building. I've witnessed staff being nasty to a FTB who was only trying to put an offer in at asking price. On the whole I would say that I have been treated with arrogance by nearly all the estate agent staff I have dealt with in NI in the past 18 months. I think you will find there will be a weeding out of agents and the best will survive.

I just looked back and noticed that I said capital gains tax at 1% - of course I meant Stamp Duty Land Tax, not capital gains.

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My guess is that we will see the property market bottom out here (and I think it now has) and then, a much more slow and cautious growth of perhaps 10% each year. I have an old copy of property news from 1996 and when I compared it to a 2006 copy, the growth was 10% per year - that was before the boom really got going and that's where I think we'll go back to.

You made my day, Sir!

Well, I have never expected EAs to be rocket scientists, but this is just comic.

There are at least 2 flaws in your reasoning:

1. If you really like your own 10% "trend analysis", at a 10-year plot of NI prices, print it out, then place a ruler along the pre-2006 slope, and draw a line into the future. Then you'll see that quite a few years of this 10% growth have been jumped in 2006-early 2007.

2. Even your stocks-pushing cousins know the great truth that eludes you: "Past performance does not guarantee future performance".

I will definitely agree with you that Belfast is getting lovelier and lovelier. The only thing that's missing is jobs, paying enough to buy an overpriced house. Only London has them more expensive today, but there a chap like me would be paid about 1.5 times more, and have a choice of jobs (not to mention all the culture and the buzz lacking in these provincial backwaters).

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I just looked back and noticed that I said capital gains tax at 1% - of course I meant Stamp Duty Land Tax, not capital gains.

1.5% sounds good to me, let me sell your house for that and I'll definitely look after you.

Of course, any ea would have this sort of reaction. What you have to consider is, if you're a vendor you are the ea's client and at the end of the day, it's people like you that will pay his/her salary. When you're on the other side as a buyer, a face in the general public you may be nice, and you may not. It is important that estate agents ensure they give good service and are pleasant to everyone, but when it's busy and often lots of people wander into the office for a nosey, it is hard to give everybody the sort of attention you want to. I would hope that you wouldn't have the sort of experience that you have described if you walked into any of our branches. Giving a FTB a hard time is wrong and I hope the ea regrets that.

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You made my day, Sir!

Well, I have never expected EAs to be rocket scientists, but this is just comic.

There are at least 2 flaws in your reasoning:

1. If you really like your own 10% "trend analysis", at a 10-year plot of NI prices, print it out, then place a ruler along the pre-2006 slope, and draw a line into the future. Then you'll see that quite a few years of this 10% growth have been jumped in 2006-early 2007.

2. Even your stocks-pushing cousins know the great truth that eludes you: "Past performance does not guarantee future performance".

I will definitely agree with you that Belfast is getting lovelier and lovelier. The only thing that's missing is jobs, paying enough to buy an overpriced house. Only London has them more expensive today, but there a chap like me would be paid about 1.5 times more, and have a choice of jobs (not to mention all the culture and the buzz lacking in these provincial backwaters).

I'm glad that I have amused you, but I think you have misunderstood what I said. I said that I think the market will bottom out - as it is at the moment with prices having fallen and in some cases still falling from the peak. Then, I believe we will see the prices grow again at 10% (a much more modest pace than the exeptional 2006 - 2007 period).

Also, I know that past performance does not guarantee future performance, as I said God alone knows what the future holds. But, my guess is that when the crazy growth has fallen to the bottom, we will grow slowly from there.

What I am saying about the 'provincial back waters' as you call them is that they aren't far from the 'buzz' of the city - get a train, get a bus for what 10 minutes and the value in what you can buy is worth it, in my opinion.

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Firstly, I have to say that I'm pleasantly surprised. I thought that you would practically chop my head off for being an estate agent and I appreciate the kind welcome. A bit of stick is fine by me - used to it.

We have had other estate agents post here. AFAIK they have always been welcome and treated with respect.

I'm not going to debate about whether or not people in here consider themselves to be experts, but I have seen a few comments along the lines of 'this house will be worth £60k in a couple of years'. The truth is, God alone knows the future and we can ony guess at what the world markets, and property markets will look like in a couple of years from now.

I'm no expert and I am not a god. :unsure::D

However, I do consider myself quite well read on the history of housing bubbles, fundamentals of house price affordability and the current state of other countries property markets.

My guess is that we will see the property market bottom out here (and I think it now has) and then, a much more slow and cautious growth of perhaps 10% each year. I have an old copy of property news from 1996 and when I compared it to a 2006 copy, the growth was 10% per year - that was before the boom really got going and that's where I think we'll go back to.

What is your 'guess' based on?

Why do you think this housing bubble - the size of which has rarely been see in the world - has already deflated and now has price support?

With the credit crunch already causing banks to tighten lending criteria. Who is going to support the house prices at the, still high, levels you are guessing at?

Most people think we are just 1 year behind America in our economic cycle. As the American subprime crisis and recession deepen/spread - do you honestly think that Northern Ireland will be the only place in the world not affected? (I hope you are right!)

Edited by Belfast Boy
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I'm glad that I have amused you, but I think you have misunderstood what I said. I said that I think the market will bottom out - as it is at the moment with prices having fallen and in some cases still falling from the peak. Then, I believe we will see the prices grow again at 10% (a much more modest pace than the exeptional 2006 - 2007 period).

If wage inflation is about 3% (anyone have figures?) and available credit is tightening, then how on earth can house prices increase at 10% per year? A mortgage amount is based (broadly speaking) on a wage (or two) and a multiple (traditionally, between 2 and 4 times). If the former is increasing at 3% and the latter is contracting towards the traditional value, how is a yearly 10% increase going to be achieved?

Also, who is going to stretch to get "on the ladder" when houses prices are coming down? Why struggle with a mortgage you can barely afford, when you can rent for half of the price and wait it out?

Can you give convincing answers to both of the above?

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I'm glad that I have amused you, but I think you have misunderstood what I said. I said that I think the market will bottom out - as it is at the moment with prices having fallen and in some cases still falling from the peak.

Oh, I understood you very well, but you still don't get what I say, even though I use words appropriate for an NI A-level holder, not something like "interpolation" or "extrapolation". Even if we consider 10% a normal rate of property price growth in NI, 2006-2007 was a huge blip over that, and has to fall to about 2005 prices + 20% or 30%, still a long way down from here. And 10% is not a normal rate, unless there's a high inflation.

As to the great attractions of Belfast, I can have the same in Glasgow, Sheffield, Nottigham, and a lot of other places, where, incidentally, I can buy a house a lot cheaper. Apparently you are comparing Belfast to itself 10 years ago, or to Strabane, not to similar-sized cities elsewhere in the UK.

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Can you give convincing answers to both of the above?

Yes! 1. Peace Dividend 2. Supply and Demand.

Oh wait what was the question again? :unsure:

1. Northern Ireland never had a house price crash before. 2 The celtic tiger.

Or maybe...

1. Speculators buying properties to flipp 2. Investors buying property to let.

What about...

1. Banks lending 125%LTV, selfcert 6x income for 50 years. 2. Low interest rates.

Or this...

1. I believe all that Helen Carson tells me 2. What is Jamie Delargy's problem :D

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Oh, I understood you very well, but you still don't get what I say, even though I use words appropriate for an NI A-level holder, not something like "interpolation" or "extrapolation". Even if we consider 10% a normal rate of property price growth in NI, 2006-2007 was a huge blip over that, and has to fall to about 2005 prices + 20% or 30%, still a long way down from here. And 10% is not a normal rate, unless there's a high inflation.

As to the great attractions of Belfast, I can have the same in Glasgow, Sheffield, Nottigham, and a lot of other places, where, incidentally, I can buy a house a lot cheaper. Apparently you are comparing Belfast to itself 10 years ago, or to Strabane, not to similar-sized cities elsewhere in the UK.

I don't know who you are trying to impress. I'm finding myself getting too involved in this forum already and I think it would be wise for me to bid you all farewell. I don't feel that I should have to come on here to defend my guesses.

Before I go, I will say this: I am not comparing Belfast to any other UK city because I think that would be an unfair comparison - Belfast is unique, no other capital city that I can think of in the world is so close to another country's capital as Belfast is to Dublin (which we're still miles behind in terms of property prices). NI is influenced by both GB and RoI and in that Belfast is different from every other UK city. I lived in Scotland for 6 years, but I wouldn't compare Belfast wth Inverness, Edinburgh or Glasgow.

There's no point in trying to use historical data to back up my guesses, since BTL mortgages are still a fairly recent thing and the whole investor driven market is still quite new. All I can do is look at the forces of demand and supply. The Price eqilibrium is where these meet, prices have had to drop, there is huge supply, demand has been very low for the last 12 months, but I'm seeing it coming back at a level. That's where my guess is based. I may be wrong, I'm prepared to admit that.

Farewell to everyone, I wish you all success and maybe some day I'll sell your house for you or sell a house to you.

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If wage inflation is about 3% (anyone have figures?) and available credit is tightening, then how on earth can house prices increase at 10% per year? A mortgage amount is based (broadly speaking) on a wage (or two) and a multiple (traditionally, between 2 and 4 times). If the former is increasing at 3% and the latter is contracting towards the traditional value, how is a yearly 10% increase going to be achieved?

Also, who is going to stretch to get "on the ladder" when houses prices are coming down? Why struggle with a mortgage you can barely afford, when you can rent for half of the price and wait it out?

Can you give convincing answers to both of the above?

Wage inflation is currently holding at 3.5%, which looks pretty average.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7282710.stm

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demand has been very low for the last 12 months, but I'm seeing it coming back at a level. That's where my guess is based. I may be wrong, I'm prepared to admit that.

That's exacltly where you may right - but only time will tell.

No one's trying to attack you, just show major faults in you reasoning. If you have time, come again, you are welcome!

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Farewell to everyone, I wish you all success and maybe some day I'll sell your house for you or sell a house to you.

Stick around and report sentiment and completions etc, it's very important. As I stated supply being choked by builders will create equilibrium

Shortfall in new-home construction may push prices back up

By Paul Melia - Irish Independent

Wednesday March 12 2008

Just 37,000 houses may be built next year as builders hold back on developments. And that could lead to price hikes, the Irish Home Builders Association (IHBA) conceded yesterday. They claimed this raised the prospect of a shortage of new homes in key areas, including Dublin, from as early as this autumn. The last time the number of new homes built in a year fell so low was in 1997, when completions were at 39,000. A report from the IHBA admitted that builders held back on building dwellings from last summer because of uncertainty in the market, and that it could be 2010 before supply levels can meet demand. The Department of the Environment says we need 60,000 homes a year built for the next 10 years

You are making the mistake IMO of comparing cheap rents with house prices. By your own analysis rents are higher for cheaper houses in the UK, so rents will increase in NI. More persons will opt to rent rather than buy coupled, with supply fall. Rents have been cheap to date because there has been so much BTL in the last three years or so, with the demographic this will dry up.

From AAM

I live in a block of 3 bedroom flats which are all owned by the same management company. Recently I got a letter from a tenant who lives in the same block of flats letting people know that the rent on his place has gone from being 1800 per month to 2400 per month just this feb. Our lease is up in June and i'm expecting the same increase. He was complaining in his letter about the ridiculous increase and I have to agree with him, it is alot more than expected and effectively every person in my flat will have to pay 200 euros extra when our lease comes up for renewal. Is it right for the management company to raise the rent by this amount i.e do we have a leg to stand on in any way if we complain?

Coming to NI soon as BTL professionals will look at yield to compensate for poor appreciation. Finally I find the main thread laughable giving out about HPI and its bubble then partaking in the new commodity bubble of the moment. In my opinion gold, grains maybe a short term bull, but it'll fall so fast with dollar appreciation it'll make you nose bleed. These commodities markets are full of speculation. Central banks have been dumping gold and reducing weighting from 30% to just 15% [except the Swiss]- they won't be caught. Talking about housing affordability then speculation on commodities that affect most notably the third world is ironic. In this site everyone is out for themselves.

Fed will cut 100bps on 18th of March; by crashing rates quickly will stave off long term issues that take time to resolve. IR cuts as you know take 6 months to feed into the wider economy. If America finds a floor watch then the crackpots on the main thread who have a mantra of followers will have to return to their extreme sites.

Read what they say will caution, read the papers, teletext anything. Don’t rely on HPC.co.uk solely. Five years ago if it were around it would have been doing your head in about the flu pandemic and buy a rifle and tinned foods.

Regular non- extreme views welcome, bear and bull. So stick around trust me EA

PS - been extremely busy lately and away now, check in later...

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Regular non- extreme views welcome, bear and bull. So stick around trust me EA

PS - been extremely busy lately and away now, check in later...

yahoooooooooooooooooo!!!

Good to see you back, I have had to clean grout of my hands to type this message (I hope you appreciate that).

Busy as well - so will catch up later - loads of things I want your opinion on at the mo.

PS. trust-me-i-an-ea, stick around, don't make the mistake of 'taking' on every one at once (we will wait :P ), seriously, find your feet here first...

later

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I don't know who you are trying to impress. I'm finding myself getting too involved in this forum already and I think it would be wise for me to bid you all farewell. I don't feel that I should have to come on here to defend my guesses.

Before I go, I will say this: I am not comparing Belfast to any other UK city because I think that would be an unfair comparison - Belfast is unique, no other capital city that I can think of in the world is so close to another country's capital as Belfast is to Dublin (which we're still miles behind in terms of property prices). NI is influenced by both GB and RoI and in that Belfast is different from every other UK city. I lived in Scotland for 6 years, but I wouldn't compare Belfast wth Inverness, Edinburgh or Glasgow.

There's no point in trying to use historical data to back up my guesses, since BTL mortgages are still a fairly recent thing and the whole investor driven market is still quite new. All I can do is look at the forces of demand and supply. The Price eqilibrium is where these meet, prices have had to drop, there is huge supply, demand has been very low for the last 12 months, but I'm seeing it coming back at a level. That's where my guess is based. I may be wrong, I'm prepared to admit that.

Farewell to everyone, I wish you all success and maybe some day I'll sell your house for you or sell a house to you.

Trust_me_im_an_ea - Just wondered what your thoughts are on the long term effect PPS14 will have on building sites and detached houses in the countryside in Northern Ireland? In the long term do you feel it will result in keeping the prices of sites and detached houses in the countryside up?

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You are making the mistake IMO of comparing cheap rents with house prices. By your own analysis rents are higher for cheaper houses in the UK, so rents will increase in NI. More persons will opt to rent rather than buy coupled, with supply fall. Rents have been cheap to date because there has been so much BTL in the last three years or so, with the demographic this will dry up.

Firstly, good to see you back :)

I have no argument with you above statement - there is likely to be adjustment on both house prices and rental prices. I do, however, think that both will continue to move down and up, respectively.

EDIT: Also, regarding cheaper rent vs high prices in the UK, this is only due to the velocity in which the house prices have risen over here. They are way out of whack now and unless we're going to get huge wage inflation, people aren't going to be able to afford large rents. Rental prices have to represent a reasonable proportion of earnings or people will look for social housing or stay at home. No matter how much they may want their own place, if they can't afford to buy or rent, then they won't be able to.

I think what we have to remember, is that someone will not pay much above the market rate before thinking of moving to a cheaper rental property. With the glut of rental property and perhaps many BTLs clambering for *any* tenant, they may have to be careful not to price themselves out completely; having a low rent is better than no rent.

I'm certain there will become a time when buying is better value, but IMO, that time will take a few years to arrive.

Edited by Traktion
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... Dublin (which we're still miles behind in terms of property prices).

... and incomes too :rolleyes:

The problem is, that we discuss house prices here all the time. We have heard all the arguments, for and against, a house price crash.

Frankly anyone with any common sense can see that average owner occupiers cannot afford to buy property in Northern Ireland. I'm talking about nurses, firemen, teachers who cannot even afford to buy an old council house these days. :(

Edited by Belfast Boy
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Even if resolved, the worm has turned.

The crunch has taught the banks a lesson they wont be forgetting for a long time, cant seen them rushing to expose themselves again any time in the next X years.

No money from banks for overpriced houses = no overpriced houses eventually.

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