We have now had sufficient time to digest the findings of the Northern Ireland Quarterly House Price Index Q2 2017 which analyses the market activity for April, May and June.
What key points did we learn from the study? It is well debated that the absence of the Northern Ireland Executive and our direct flight path towards Brexit has given rise to an anxious market and a somewhat despondent outlook over what lies ahead. The question being raised more frequently, as we move out of Q3, is simply, is now a good time to sell?
Brexit is in the diary to occur two years from now and the formation of our Stormont executive is a little more difficult to predict, therefore the question of selling has the potential to linger in the air for sometime. That is, unless the cause for taking action presides and we carry on with managing our affairs, making informed decisions based on the economic and political influences as they are currently presented to us. The same principle may be applied to prospective buyers. According to the report, average house prices are rather tolerable with the regional average sitting £148,499. However, this isn’t quite where the story ends.
We acknowledge our millennials and from within this group we will find our prospective first time buyers or “Generation Rent” (the term of reference speaks for itself). For these participants in our housing market, their challenges are more complex than a mere decision to buy. Higher deposits are required by lenders, income and spending are scrutinised in equal measure by lenders, there is currently a well documented housing shortage, private rents have soared representing a hefty deduction from a monthly salary and mortgage terms have moved from 25 years to 30-35 years. The cherry on top is the trend, born from necessity, for first time buyers to pair up in order to amass the requisite income and receive their qualification to set foot on the golden property ladder.
The market research for Q3 will no doubt prove to be interesting reading.
You can view the full report on the NIHE website.