e-surv predicts strong NI price growth

Ramesh Sharma

April 29, 2006

Changes to DRD legislation have meant a change in planning guidance for ‘random developments’ in the countryside. Currently, people are three times more likely to have a property in a rural area approved in NI than they are in England, Scotland and Wales, with 9,500 applications each year. This is expected to reach 12,000 by the end of the year.

However the changes to DRD law has meant properties can expect to be put under increasing building restrictions, which Steve Hinds, regional surveyor at e.surv, argued would lead to marked changes in property prices. He said: “Potentially, this rule change could result in significant changes in the market, as the expectation is that it will push up values of urban land, increasing saleability of popular suburban locations.” He added the market could see substantial increases in development land prices as developers compete for the remaining land.

Ken Sives, partner at Sives Financial Services, based in Larne, Northern Ireland, agreed that the changes would affect the market. He commented: “I do see this having an upwards impact on prices of houses in Northern Ireland. With already significant growth over the last few years in Ireland, I see the rises in prices of 20 per cent per annum being the norm for the next few years. Northern Ireland is still some way behind the mainland price-wise, and, unfortunately, wages are not keeping pace with property price rises. It is becoming very difficult for anyone looking to upgrade, or for first-time buyers looking to step onto the property ladder. Any sites in the planning areas will see their value rise astronomically.”

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