Investors drive first-time buyers out of Belfast

Posted: 24 Jul 2007 10:32:10 GMT


            Property News - Investors drive first-time buyers out of Belfast

Investor buyers have made Belfast an increasingly hostile environment for first-time buyers, according to one of the city's leading estate agents.

Investor buyers have made Belfast an increasingly hostile environment for first-time buyers, according to one of the city's leading estate agents.

With inward invest pouring into the city and house prices rising buy-to-let investors have flocked to Belfast in the hope of finding a bargain.

As a result, house prices have risen still further as investors push up demand.

Greg Vaughan of Patterson Miller said that in the last 18 months, property – especially terraced housing – had shot up in value because of interest from the buy-to-let sector.

"It's sky-rocketed, to the point where you might have had a terraced house in some locations probably getting close on doubling in value in those 18 months," he said.

But house prices in the city are now showing signs of cooling off, following the almost UK-wide trend.

Three interest rate rises this year have significantly increased the cost of borrowing, taking the heat out of the market.

"You're probably finding now with interest rates rising, there's maybe not such an absolute certainty of finding tenants, so it's maybe not looking like such a good bet any more," Mr Vaughan added.

The Bank of England will consider another rate rise – a move that would take the cost of borrowing to its highest level in six years – in August.

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