| 8.9°C Belfast

New property website slashes transaction charges to 0.5%

A new website has been launched that claims it will put property owners in Northern Ireland in control of buying and selling their homes.

Almost £1m has been invested in the site, which is the brainchild of local property expert Eric Cairns - now the chairman of atatouch.com.

What sets atatouch.com apart from estate agents and other sites, he said, is that the transaction process is in the hands of the seller, and can be tracked and completed online - with direct contact between buyers and sellers for viewings and price negotiation.

Mr Cairns added that the business will take only a 0.5% commission on sales, below what is charged on the high street.

"Ulster house sales have fallen due to the recession from its known peak of around 22,600 in 2004 to probably fewer than 5,000 last year," said Mr Cairns. "I am confident that atatouch.com will help kick-start property sales and lead to a resurgence in the local housing market."

The new company is backed by Ulster Bank and local technology firms gem and Kainos, along with private equity investors. Five jobs have been created directly and a further 20 will be supported through gem and Kainos, which are providing support services.