Changing trends in the Northern Ireland property market
Society has seen huge upheavals in the last year since the outbreak of COVID-19 with many forced changes to people’s lifestyle and work routines and indeed where they live.
We at Best Property Services have noticed huge changes in both the type of client looking to buy and how client’s requirements have changed over the last year. The Northern Ireland price index has reported an annual 5.3% increase from end 2019 to end 2020 and this has certainly continued into 2021 with our office already surpassing 10m in gross residential sales.
Some may wonder when there are huge levels of uncertainty in the general economy why is there such a strong demand for people buying property. We think there are two main reasons for this, and both are related to the new trends of people working from home.
Firstly, there has been a noticeable increase in the enquiry levels from clients wanting to return home. This is backed up by the central statistics office who have reported the greatest number of people retuning to the country since 2007 which was peak Celtic Tiger! Internally we have recently agreed properties to clients returning from London, Dubai, Australia & America. Typically, these clients are now in a work position where they do not necessarily need to live in the large cities as their roles allow them to work remotely and they view Northern Ireland as a much more affordable place to buy, compared to where they are currently, and they are more likely to be able to afford a property that meets all their family requirements.
The new working from home and indeed home schooling for children has also made a lot of local buyers consider their own living arrangements, which has led to a noticeable increase in clients wanting to trade up to larger properties with key requirements now being, garages, home offices & large gardens, all of which has also been helped by the recently extended stamp duty holiday.
First time buyers are also continuing to be very active with the attraction on continued low mortgage rates and in a lot of instances being able to put down a larger deposit resulting from no holidays or associated leisure spending.
Unfortunately for most buyers the current market is undersupplied, and stock levels are currently 30% less than what they would normally be at this time compared to recent years. This undersupply of homes has led to the return of multiple bidding being the norm. In fact, 60% of Best Property resales so far in 2021 have had multiple bidders and in most cases have exceeded the guide price.
Looking forward to the rest of 2021, we at Best Property Services still see the local market being competitive with demand likely to outweigh supply for the foreseeable future.
Agency Express thanks Gary Best, Managing Director of Best Property Services for providing his insights in to the changing trends of the Northern Irish property market. If any potential clients wishing to discuss the current market in more detail please feel free to make contact with them.