Dear Barry

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Between the last quarter of 2017 and the first of 2018, current figures show all regions of Northern Ireland posting a drop in sales.

However, the good news is that Belfast had the second best performance, with a drop in sales of 16.5%, just behind Mid Ulster whose sales fell by 15%.

It doesn't sound great, but compare it to 28.5% in the Maiden City, 25.8% in our neighbour borough of Lisburn & Castlereagh, and the whopping 41.8% suffered in Antrim and Newtownabbey (ouch!). Doesn't sound so bad now, eh?

Northern Ireland as a whole saw a fall in property sales of 28%, so Belfast was one of five regions in the Province who performed better than the average.

If you've followed the blog for at least a year, you'll probably know what's coming next.

A drop in sales during the first quarter is totally normal. There are the usual adjustments we can expect in these sales figures - they are almost always revised upwards as more completed sales during the period are recorded. 

But it's also a seasonal thing. It's not a popular time to buy property due to money being scarce - we've just had Christmas and 'wedding season' begins in earnest in Northern Ireland in Spring-time.

Any money we have left after Christmas is usually being kept aside for hen parties, stag dos and of course, outfits, gifts, travel and accommodation for the big day itself.

It's more meaningful to have a look at how Q1 2018 compares to Q1 2017. Northern Ireland as a whole sees a drop in sales - 5,187 properties sold in Q1 2017 compared to 4,545 in Q1 2017 - a difference of 12.37% as the figures currently stand.

So how does Belfast fare? 

According to the figures, it has also dropped - but by a far smaller margin. In Q1 2017 there were 1,055 property sales recorded and in Q1 2018 there were 999. That's only 5.3% and again, it's second in the league table behind Causeway Coast & Glens, the only region to post an increase in sales (1.84%).

Derry's down 10.8%, Lisburn and Castlereagh drop 11.3% and Antrim and Newtownabbey way behind everyone with a 28% fall in sales.

I believe Belfast holds its own partly because of the huge variation in the type of housing stock it has - with everything from tiny one-bed flats in rough parts of town, to mansions with sprawling gardens and shiny postcodes.

A broad spectrum of available properties means there is something for every level of buyer - this is probably also a key reason prices don't perform as well as our neighbours Lisburn & Castlereagh.

But more on that in my next article!



Any thoughts on Northern Ireland and Belfast's property market you'd like to share? Any questions? Just drop me a line to, I'd love to hear from you.