Estate agent Simon Brien opens new Belfast office
Estate agent Simon Brien Residential has opened a new office in Ballyhackamore as part of the area's ongoing regeneration.
The opening of the new three-floor 1,500 sq ft office in east Belfast follows an investment of around £500,000 in the past 12 months.
The company also opened a new office in Newtownards in October.
Simon Brien Residential said the new office will lead to the creation of a number of new jobs in property management and lettings valuations.
The agency already employs 51 people across its four locations in south Belfast, east Belfast, Holywood and Newtownards.
The new office is the latest addition to the Ballyhackamore area, which has undergone a sustained period of regeneration.
The Upper Newtownards Road in particular has experienced a boom in hospitality outlets, earning the area the nickname 'Ballysnackamore'.
The area was also recently named by the Sunday Times as the most appealing place in Northern Ireland for young families to settle down.
Company head Simon Brien said: "We have had a presence in east Belfast for 10 years but we felt it was the right time to make an acquisition and relocate our team into a larger contemporary office and vibrant working environment.
"We are confident that the future looks bright for the Northern Ireland housing market.
"We have seen good, steady, sustainable levels of growth across Northern Ireland, and 5.2% in Belfast, with the recent House Price Index showing an average increase of 4.2% between Q1 2017 and Q1 2018."
The latest House Price Index released at the end of last month revealed the average property price in NI rose to £130,026, a 4.2% increase over the year.