Tailored mortgage offers and exceptional deals by developers are helping to encourage first-time buyers on to the property ladder in Northern Ireland, according to leading players in the local housing market.
Figures from Fraser Houses, who have built more than 5,000 homes in the last four decades, indicate an emerging confidence in the market from this huge buying sector.
The company has seen a major increase in the level of enquiries resulting in significant sales during the past four weeks — since the launching of a new price promise.
Paul Fraser of Fraser Houses said: “Our current price guarantee scheme at Aylesbury is aimed at giving buyers who might be sitting on the fence the security that now really is the time to buy and we will never sell any of these homes for less.
"We are confident the interest and increase in sales of these homes are indicative of the growing realisation that the first-time market in the Belfast Metropolitan Area has stabilised and can go down no further.
“With these prices and some of the current buying options now available, monthly mortgage repayments compare very favourably to rental costs. First-time buyers are also being supported by innovative mortgages from Ulster Bank, which has been leading the way in the first time buyer sector.”
Mike Smith, head of Economics at the University of Ulster, said the evidence pointed towards some “green shoots” for the housing market in the greater Belfast area.
Ulster Bank has the largest share of the first-time buyer mortgage market in Northern Ireland and has been taking the largest share of new mortgage lending as a whole.
Derek Wilson, head of lending products at Ulster Bank, said: “With regard to first-time buyer activity, our own figures show ongoing steady demand.”
In the past 18 months Fraser Houses has sold 119 of its 130 luxury starter homes at Aylesbury, Mayfield Garden Village in Newtownabbey, with many clients taking advantage of ‘no deposit’ mortgage offers.
Related YouTube video: Aylesbury