Dear Barry

Ask Barry Image

Ther overall sales picture remains the same for the property types, with terraces the biggest sellers, followed by semi-detached, apartments and then detached properties.

However, still a very interesting picture this quarter as we see a complete reversal of the sales growth figures. Last quarter, the only property type to see a drop in sales was the apartment, with a 15.2% drop in apartment transactions between Q2 and Q3.

Between Q3 and Q4 apartments were the sole property category to see sales growth in Belfast - all other property types saw a fall in sales between Q3 and Q4. Terraces were down by 4.7%, semi-detached by a whopping 22%, and finally detached properties dropping a thundering 28.5%.

Interesting, eh?

So, you'll remember last quarter I decided to have a comparative look at prices and the rental picture to see if any broad trends emerged.

From the big drops in rental transactions for semis and detached, compared to the similar rises in sales of these types of property, I proposed that perhaps owner-occupiers were driving sales and that landlords were holding off on investment - perhaps as a result of the tax relief changes.

The report on NI's rental market for the second half is out next month, so we'll not be able to make any meaningful comparisons until we have a look at those figures - I will update this article then, so watch this space.

I will be interested to see what's happening with rental transactions - it has long been my thinking that investing in and renting out more apartments in Belfast is the way the market is going, so it will be interesting to see if that bears out. 

The big drop in purchases of semis and detached houses - compared to their big jumps in sales between quarters last time - would tend to suggest I was right about those being driven by owner-occupiers, or perhaps by investors seeking to either flip them or looking for a long-term capital investment.


What are your thoughts? You know where I am if you want to chat or share your experiences - or pop into the office at 197 Lisburn Road.