Dear Barry

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Some people reading these articles think I'm a hopeless optimist - so it's awfully nice to have my optimism vindicated!

I certainly called it right when I told the world Belfast is Booming. In recent weeks I've read about a £20m office development, continued expansion and development of Belfast Harbour, plus progress being made on the exciting Belfast Transport Hub.*

Now it looks as though last month's cautiously upbeat take on the drop in property sales was on the money too.

Quick recap: Property sales fell by 25% in Northern Ireland between the last quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of this year - in the same time period, Belfast did ever-so-slightly slightly better, with a 22% drop. This was reason #1 not to feel so glum about the figures.

The second reason was - as we remind you quarterly - the figures are always revised upwards from report to report as final tallies are totalled, and Q1 2017 was no exception.

The Q1 HPI reported 990 sales and this quarter's revised figures show there were actually 1,045 sales in total.

It's just a good reminder that the report is a great indicator of overall trends, but that we shouldn't panic too much about those initial numbers if they look gloomy.

Similarly, we can expect this quarter's small step in the right direction to look a little more sure-footed next quarter.

Sales between Q1 and Q2 are up by 0.6% in Belfast and rose in Northern Ireland overall by 3.8%.

Here's to even better news next time!


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