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