Belfast Telegraph

How Game Of Thrones sparked Northern Ireland property scramble

By Maureen Coleman

Cult television show Game Of Thrones is helping to boost the rental of exclusive property in Northern Ireland – and the stars might even be hunting your apartment.

Producers of the award-winning fantasy series, which has generated millions of pound for the local economy, have been renting top-of-the-market properties in the Belfast area to accommodate cast and crew during filming.

But due to the lack of available high-end properties, they are now directly appealing to home-owners to rent out their apartments with the offer of competitive rates.

Filming of season five of Game Of Thrones began shooting in Belfast over the summer.

And while many of the cast and crew have already found accommodation, the team behind the series has been on the hunt for additional deluxe properties in the city.

Residents in a plush south Belfast development received flyers from show production staff inquiring about the possibility of renting a three-bedroom penthouse apartment.

The leaflet stated: "There is limited availability in Belfast, hence the reason we are contacting people directly in the hope that the promise of a competitive rental rate would generate some interest".

Residents were also given a mobile telephone number and email address to contact.

With an increasing number of film and television productions now shooting in Northern Ireland, renting property has become popular with crew and actors, particularly on longer shoots.

Rory McIlroy's ex-girlfriend Holly Sweeney rented her lavish Belfast apartment to Game Of Thrones staff while it was on the market awaiting sale.

The 1,898sq ft penthouse, where she lived after splitting from the golfer, boasts several balconies, a rooftop garden, grand piano and views of Belfast's harbour. It remained on the market for two years before she sold it earlier this year for an estimated €600,000 (around £477,000).

Cast and crew of the new Ben Wheatley film High Rise, starring Tom Hiddleston, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans and Jeremy Irons, recently stayed in rented accommodation along the North Down coast, while the movie was shooting in Bangor.

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