There’s no doubt that the real estate market has gained itself a turbulent reputation over the last 10 years. Countless people have been negatively affected by the recession which hit the market with an almighty bang. We felt the intense heat of that bang right here in Northern Ireland. Even if we managed to escape unscathed, we know others who did not experience the same fortune.

Over the course of 2017 we heard commentary from the industry telling us that the housing market is improving, house prices have become steady, lenders are keen to arrange mortgages and developers are eager to break ground on new developments. Along side this good news we are also aware of rising inflation, increased interest rates (the first increase in a decade), salary freezes, the Northern Ireland workforce is the lowest paid region in the UK, the UK vote to leave the EU and we have more people renting than ever before.

Makes for interesting discussion doesn’t it? So what are we to do with all of this information? How are we to possibly interpret the data in order to decide if we trust the housing/ real estate market, employment market, financial market and trade markets? There are a lot of variables happening as we prepare for 2018 which are out of our control and we can rest assured that as we celebrate the arrival of 2019, 2020, 2021 and so on so forth, there will be ambiguities for us to consider then also.

What we can do is understand the components over which we do have control, for example, spending within our means, dealing head on with any debt which has accrued, scrutinising monthly outgoings and making savings where necessary. Pulling all that stuff which sits in your subconscious mind under the heading “I must deal with that someday”, and deal with it.

No two sets of circumstances are the same and comparing your situation with those of others is a futile task. A measure of how well we’re doing is quite often those visible material things; cars, homes, holidays, job etc. And yet these items are very much variables in their own right. They are highly dependent on some other activity. Take your home, for example. In the majority of cases, the home has a direct correlation to the household income of that home, therefore should the income decline in value, the risk to the occupier(s) of sustaining the obligations on the home increases.

It is important to be clear that this example is not a negative one. It very nicely demonstrates how a variable, which is beyond our control (i.e. income), impacts upon a fixture, (i.e. the home) which is within our control. This is only one very brief circumstance out of many many circumstances where the “variable” impacts upon the “fixture”. The key to a positive outcome in such a situation is to take immediate action.

Be organised about the things which are within your reach to organise as you see fit. Don’t be afraid to make changes and above all, take action and hold yourself accountable if you don’t. Your destiny belongs to you so why would you not steer it in the direction you want to go.

If you would like to discuss, in complete confidence, any of the content raised, please get in touch with Ursula Mayers at Mayers Real Estate

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