Dear Barry

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Yet again the broad picture in Belfast for property sales by type is unchanged - detached properties saw the lowest sales, apartments were second lowest, then semi-detached and terraces on top with the highest number of sales.

No big surprises, and we've discussed Belfast housing stock before - the sales levels broadly mirror the availability of each of these types of property. 

So it's helpful to examine if any of the property types have seen a drop in sales between the quarters, and look at the HPI and the most recent rental market information to see if we can extrapolate.

Apartments in Belfast saw a jump in sales of 16.4% between the quarters. Sales of detached properties fell by 22.6%, semi-detached rose by 13.2% and finally, terraced properties saw a sales increase of just 1.1%.

It's interesting to compare the HPI report figures to the most recent rental market performance report. Looking at properties let by type in Belfast in the latter half of last year, apartment rentals have gone down by almost the same figure that sales went up between Q1 and Q2. Terrace rentals went up by just under 1% and terrace sales went up by just over 1%. 

It is interesting to note that rental of semi-detached properties went up by over 8%, with purchases of semi-detached properties between Q1 and Q2 2018 going up by just over 13%. Coupled with the apartment figures, could this suggest a trend that more of the 'young professional' renters are opting for homely semis rather than high-rise life? 

Something to ponder also could be the continued popularity of short-term and holiday rental investment in city centres. With the explosion in hotel building, are savvy investors seeking a slice of the tourist pie?

Another explanation could be the continued success of the business sector in Belfast; those apartments could well be 'pied a terres' for high flying city execs, or indeed company-financed homes for their best international talent.

More recent rental market figures come out later this month, so it will be interesting to see if they bear out these theories or paint a different picture entirely.

Watch this space...


What are your thoughts on the figures above? What do you believe are the most meaningful data sets for the Belfast property market. Let's chat! Email