Dear Barry

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Some very, very interesting reading in these stats this quarter.

No surprises when we look at the overall picture. Just as it's been for the previous two quarters, detached are the lowest selling, followed by apartments, in second place is semi-detached, with terraced properties selling best in Belfast last quarter.

Overall, property sales are up, but looking at where the biggest gains and losses were made is where it gets interesting. 

Apartment sales in Belfast are down on Q2 by a massive 15.2%. All other property types saw increases in sales - however, market-leading property type, the mighty terrace, posted the smallest growth in sales - 2.9%.

Overall sales growth was in fact driven by sales of detached properties (up 37.9% on Q2) and semi-detached (up 22.08% on Q2). So, detached may have made the fewest sales in the third quarter in a row, but it's seen the biggest percentage jump in sales.

I thought it would be interesting to look at these figures in the context of pricing and rentals to see if we can spot any broad trends.

Pricing doesn't seem to have exerted any significant influence in purchasing decisions, but the rental figures are interesting - particularly with detached and semi-detached properties. 

Rentals of these types of property have gone down by almost the same percentage as purchases have gone up. And overall, rentals are down by a similar percentage to the rise in purchases.

Now, admittedly we are comparing sales in the third quarter of 2017 to rental prices in the first half of the year, but it's still an interesting glimpse at the bigger picture and would tend to suggest that sales are being driven by owner-occupiers, with buy-to-let purchasers perhaps holding back.

Looks to me like more evidence of the mortgage interest tax relief ban forcing buy-to-let investors to hold off on growing their property portfolios. It's something I warned against earlier in the year in this article.

The silver lining, as last week's article shows, is that landlords are at least benefiting from increased rental income across most of the Belfast postcodes.


I'd love to know your take on this - drop me a line to or pop into the office at 197 Lisburn Road for a chat over coffee.