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Battle of the capitals – Belfast and London neck and neck on house price rises
October 6, 2014Article by Charlotte Ashton
London is used to sitting above the rest of the UK when it comes to house prices, but new data has revealed that Belfast is now giving the English capital a run for its money, at least so far as house price rises are concerned.
A bumper year
The past year has been a good one for the housing market across Northern Ireland, with Nationwide figures showing price rises of 10.2% during the year. Belfast was the area to perform most strongly, with 21% growth in prices over the past 12 months.
The figure puts Belfast on par with London when it comes to the rate at which property prices are rising. As property sale prices remain significantly lower than in the English capital – the average Belfast house price is now £188,240 according to the Nationwide House Price Index – many property investors have turned away from the more obvious choice of London in order to benefit from Belfast’s buoyant housing market. Ray Withers, Chief Executive of specialist property investment company Property Frontiers, explains,
“Belfast is one of the most dynamic markets in the UK right now for property investors. Buy-to-let apartments are leading the field, attracting investors from across the globe. Belfast’s business prowess continues to impress and young professionals are flocking to the city in search of employment, driving the need for high quality rental accommodation.”
A leading investment opportunity
Typical of the new kind of rental accommodation in demand by Belfast’s latest generation of professionals is The Sandford. Comprised of luxury one and two bedroom apartments that have been designed in the spirit of modern elegance, the development offers buy-to-let investors the opportunity to make a purchase from as little as £108,100. Available at 6% below RICS valuation, the apartments represent exceptional value for money, while an 8% expected yield adds to their attractions.
The Sandford is ideally located for access to Belfast’s iconic Titanic Quarter and the city centre, where one of the world’s largest and most exciting urban waterfront regeneration projects is underway. Demand for the apartments will be intense, thanks to the considerable amount of foreign direct investment currently flowing into Belfast, with companies from across the globe choosing the city as the location for their operations.
With tenant demand tipped to be so strong, investors have been snapping up the apartments at an impressive rate. Withers observes,
“The apartments at The Sandford offer that rare combination of the right investment opportunity at the right price, at the right time in the market’s fluctuations. As such, we’ve seen incredible interest in them from the very first day they were launched. We certainly don’t expect to have availability at The Sandford for much longer.”