Agents on the English side of the Irish sea looking to expand their business should look to Northern Ireland now that it has been revealed as the surprise star of the UK property market by UK Finance.
The number of people taking out mortgages to buy property in Northern Ireland is at its highest since the early noughties, the trade association says.
During the second quarter of this year the number of first time buyers increased by 12.5% in Northern Ireland compared to the same period last year, the highest quarterly level since 2005.
The amount of money lent to first time buyers also increased by 16.7% to £0.280 billion, while the number of home movers increased by 6.7% to 1,600.
“Lending to first-time buyers has overtaken remortgaging as the largest sector by value, reversing the position during the previous quarter, as borrowers take advantage of what remains the UK’s most affordable region,” says Derek Wilson, chair of UK Finance’s Northern Ireland Mortgage Committee (right).
“With the number of first-time buyers reaching a 12 year high, it will be important to increase the supply of new homes to match this growing demand.”
The country’s perky performance compares well with the other parts of the UK for the same period, where property markets are sluggish. England experienced a lower number of first time buyer and home moving borrowers, as did Wales and Scotland.
The downturn in lending has been harshest in England, where during June the number of home movers taking out mortgages decreased by 7.9%, first time buyers by 3.6% and buy-to-let landlords by 19.4%.