Sign of the times

April 18th, 2012

We have been watching out for months now for any signs that first time buyers are returning in numbers to the local terrace market around Cregagh.  We have always felt that Cregagh is a useful barometer for the whole East Belfast  market.

Well,  we have recently put a three bedroom house on the market, just off Ravenhill Avenue, the sort of house that traditionally would attract first time buyers.  The good news is that we have had 9 viewers in just over a week and an offer which is being considered at present.

It may not yet be the turning point we are looking for but it is definitely a very positive sign.

‘Live’ in East Belfast

March 1st, 2012

‘Live in East Belfast’ our new bi-monthly newspaper hit the streets in force during February. 15,000 copies were delivered to households in East Belfast. The response has been tremendous and we are now starting to compile the next issue with great enthusiasm.

We have also had a fantastic response to our competition ‘where am I?’ All the entries so far have been correct and are still coming in. Winners receive free listing with Pooler Estate Agents and there will be a draw at the end of March for a free EPC as well. If you didn’t receive a copy you can access it by clicking on the link on our homepage.

If you have any good ideas for property related features in East Belfast or just some local history that you think would interest our readers, please get in touch.

Are the University of Ulster figures as accurate as we assume?

February 10th, 2012

The main headlines today according to the latest UU figures, are that the average price of a house in Northern Ireland has dropped by a further 10%.

We have never supplied our sales details to this survey and yet our name appears on the press release as a contributor.  Last year a local East Belfast Estate Agent telephoned me to ask if we supplied our sales data to the survey.  He then telephoned me back to say that he had spoken to the majority of Estate Agents in East Belfast and he had not found anyone who takes part in the survey.

It would be interesting to know exactly how many Estate Agents contribute to the report.

This report is seen by the industry and I assume by the Banks as the most accurate indication of the state of the property market.

It would make sense for the Banks not to open up their coffers and offer more mortgages until they were sure the market had bottomed out but it concerns me that they may be basing the future of our market on a report that may not be as accurate as people suppose

To buy or not to buy?

January 9th, 2012

You can be fairly sure that any first time buyer who has purchased a house since around 2004 will be currently living in a property worth less than they paid for it.  It’s an horrific thought in a sector which in the past has been a sound investment.
The question is, should a young person start looking for their first home now or is the market going to fall further?  No one wants to purchase a house which could be worth thousands of pounds less in six months time.
The lower end of the market will be the first to stabilize and I have always felt that this will be achieved when the values get down to a level where they provide good returns for an investor.
The majority of houses we are selling at the moment are these very properties and investors are now snapping them up between £40,000 and £70,000 depending on the condition.  I estimate that these figures are down by around 60% from the peak in 2007.
So to answer the question, should a young person start looking for their first home now? – in my opinion yes, but with caution.  Some areas have stabilized quicker than others but I feel East Belfast has been a leader in this respect.
It is really important to know how much similar propeties in the area have made. Most Estate Agents will tell you when asked, if they don’t, just ring me and I will try and find out for you!!
Christopher Pooler

Look, its our new website!

January 9th, 2012


We’re really happy with our new site and we hope you find it a big improvement on our previous one which was getting ‘dated and in need of refurbishment!’   Thanks to all at PropertyPal.
2012 is now upon us and despite the doom and gloom we are feeling pretty positive.  Not ‘this time next year Rodney, we’ll be millionaires’ positive but we can still sell and rent property in a reasonable time-frame and believe we can grow our business by simply doing things a little better than other Estate Agents.
Being realistic with valuations, communicating regularly with everyone involved right through to completion and a bit of hard work are the keys to success and we are really looking forward to launching our new property newspaper, LIVE in East Belfast in the middle of January – 15,000 copies will be delivered through local letterboxes and it will be available as a PDF on the website.
Here’s hoping for a better property related 2012.
Christopher Pooler