Some recent surveys suggest that Northern Ireland house prices have bottomed out and may even be rising.
I can tell you they are correct.
How do I know?
I have written about property for six years.
And I have been buying a home for most of that time.
Now six years might sound a rather long time to try buying a house. But when prices are falling, and you are not in a chain, you can take your time. Because each month they get cheaper.But they are not getting cheaper now, at least not reasonably good properties in greater Belfast.
I am still looking and have been bid against on some properties. It is minor bidding at a low level, but fine houses that I could (just) have bought two years ago are now £10,000+ dearer, and out of reach. The deflationary mindset — the feeling that if you hold off til next year, things will be cheaper — is gone.
But if you, like me, hope to buy, don’t panic. Prices are way down on peak, and remain excellent value.
I have a quite specific theory, which would take too long explain here, that overall prices fell 58 per cent from peak. They have now risen a bit and are down about 50 to 55 per cent (although some categories, such as sites, are much lower — still 80+ per cent down).
Property will take many years to recover to 2007 levels, and may never do in real terms (after inflation).
Our exclusive News Letter graph, right - published in today’s paper - charts the four big house price surveys since 2003, and shows the scale of the collapse. The black line is an average of the four surveys in 2003, and is then index-linked for inflation. It shows that prices now are effectively back a decade, at 2003 levels.
Price rises make my heart sink
I understand that news of house prices rising again is music to many people’s ears, but for me it’s the opposite, writes Rebecca Black.
Like scores of other young people the price crash gave me hope that one day I could buy a home. As they rise again my dreams are again sliding out of my reach. My parents’ generation were the first to start buying their own homes, but I fear that my generation are a return to the days where, without help, it simply isn’t possible.