Emerging confidence in Belfast property market evidenced by increased sales and enquiries
8th April 2011
There are definite green shoots of recovery within the first time buyers' market in Greater Belfast according to one of Northern Ireland's longest established home builders, Fraser Houses.
Tailored mortgage offers and exceptional deals by developers are helping to encourage first time buyers onto the property ladder in Northern Ireland, according to leading players in the local housing market.
Figures from Fraser Houses, who have built more than 5,000 homes in the last four decades, indicate an emerging confidence in the market from this huge buying sector.
The company has seen a major increase in the level of enquiries resulting in significant sales during recent weeks since the launching of a new price promise.
Paul Fraser of Fraser Houses said today: “Our current price guarantee scheme at Aylesbury in Newtownabbey is aimed at giving buyers who might be sitting on the fence, the security that now really is the time to buy and we will never sell any of these homes for less.
We are confident the interest and increase in sales of these homes are indicative of the growing realisation that the first time market in the Belfast Metropolitan Area has stabilised and can go down no further.
With these prices and some of the current buying options now available, monthly mortgage repayments compare very favourably to rental costs. First time buyers are also being supported by innovative mortgages from Ulster Bank, which has been leading the way in the first time buyer sector.”
Mike Smith, Head of Economics from the University of Ulster , said the evidence pointed towards some ‘green shoots’ for the housing market in the Greater Belfast area.
“These figures are very encouraging. While a more protracted recovery period will be required for other parts of the province, it seems that a stabilisation of property prices in this area of Belfast has begun.”
Ulster Bank has the largest share of the first time buyer mortgage market in Northern Ireland and has been taking the largest share of new mortgage lending as a whole.
Commenting, Derek Wilson, head of lending products at Ulster Bank, said: "With regard to first time buyer activity, our own figures show ongoing steady demand. Ulster Bank accounts for almost one in every two first time buyer mortgages in Northern Ireland. We continue to lead the way in offering innovative solutions for homebuyers through our unique no deposit Momentum Mortgages, alongside Co-Ownership mortgages."
In the past 18 months Fraser Houses report 110 properties sold at Aylesbury, Mayfield Garden Village in Newtownabbey and only 10 homes still available, with many clients taking advantage of these ‘no deposit’ mortgage offers.
Paul Fraser concluded: “The first time buyer sector is vital to the recovery of the overall housing market. It’s encouraging to see our figures acknowledged as a sign of growth in this sector. These are definitely positive signals.
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