From the very Southern tip of the city last time (here's the Finaghy Area Profile if you missed it) we are 'up north' again this month, on the 'lower' Antrim Road.
As with Ormeau, there is much debate to be had over whether there is a discernable 'upper' and 'lower' Antrim Road - but for the purpose of these features, I'm splitting the Antrim Road about at the Limestone Road/Cavehill Road crossroads. So, starting at Carlisle Circus, we travel about a mile up the Antrim Road.
It's a part of town within comfortable walking distance of (or at worst a short bus road to) the achingly hip Cathedral Quarter, the up-and-coming Smithfield Quarter and indeed the bright lights of Belfast city centre itself, but yet there is not much in the way of gentrification to be seen.
Some parts of the road look pretty down-at-heel - but for every boarded-up property or scruffy-fronted shop there's at least one thriving business - beauty salons, fast food outlets, corner shops, offys and good old fashioned pubs abound. While there aren't any artisan coffee shops just yet, I did spot one or two funky, smart-looking little eateries.
There is a beautiful Victorian public park (Alexandra Park) and the urban oasis that is The Waterworks at the top end of the Lower Antrim Road, so you're never too far away from some pleasant green space to take the kids or walk the dog.
It's certainly a mixed bag and I think the place has a gritty-edged vibrancy. This part of the city is always buzzing with activity, and in the Duncairn Arts Centre, it has a busy creative hub right in its heart, with a full and varied programming of arts events and activities throughout the year.
It's a population which is looking more diverse than it has in years gone by, but probably not quite as ethnically varied as, say, Ormeau or Lisburn Road. Certain parts of the Lower Antrim Road have quite settled populations, with families who have lived here for generations and will continue to do so. Other parts have little pockets of more transient populations, e.g. students and young couples.
Its proximity to the centre of town, coupled with good transport links and more competitive property prices make it a good prospect for the renter and the investor - both can get more bang for their buck here.
On the Antrim Road itself, from around Cliftonville Road down to the roundabout, there are plenty of residential properties facing on to the main road itself. This brings the usual risks associated with 'hard' architecture, however, it also makes those properties attractive to people reliant on public transport and who value getting to and from their city centre workplace quickly and easily, more than they value a garden or a front gate.
This little micro-area has some really lovely properties, of impressive size and condition. Big terraced townhouses suitable for family rentals, or even conversion into HMOs or flats. Good proximity to public transport links, the city centre and the hospitals and local schools, so these could be popular with hospital workers, mature students and families alike.
You may think that the bigger family homes and scenic views lie beyond the Cavehill cut-off point in the 'upper' Antrim Road, but you'd be surprised. Many of the properties here see the benefit of the steepening altitude with some lovely views. The house prices climb as you head up the mountain too, but balanced against the growing distance to the city centre, there are still some relative bargains to be had.
2 x 2-beds and 1 x 1-bed being offered here as one lot. The buyer is "open to offers" and wants them in cash, so if you have the liquidity, you could bag a real buy-to-let bargain here. Rent could be anything from £1,400 to £1,550 total for the three flats. Bear in mind you'll need some funds set aside to do the work they need.
A huge 4-bed townhouse that appears to be in fairly turn-key condition. This could be a fantastic family rental. At least £750 a month would be a reasonable ask, and it's on the market for £128,500 giving just over 7% yield.
This modern townhouse is smack bang on the Antrim Road and not only benefits from the 'soft' architecture of a small front yard; it is something of a TARDIS, boasting no fewer than five bedrooms and a small back yard. Its size, layout and location make it a very adaptable property, ripe for investment. It's on the market for £129,950 and should rent for at least £800 - 900 per month, giving a max. 8.3% yield.
I hope you enjoyed this latest trip around Belfast - head over to my Facebook page before 22/10/18 and take part in my poll to decide where we go next! If you don't like the options - comment with a better suggestion, I'm happy to hear it. If Facebook isn't your thing, drop me a line to firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know your thoughts on this latest article.