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Northern Ireland property market: ‘No boom, therefore no crash’

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Northern Ireland poperty market: ‘No boom, therefore no crash’

Northern Ireland poperty market: ‘No boom, therefore no crash’

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Northern Ireland poperty market: ‘No boom, therefore no crash’

There may be no immediate change to Northern Ireland's housing market while online interest in properties has surged amid coronavirus lockdown, it's been claimed.

While the residential market here has effectively been placed on hiatus, and no property deals can transact, John Minnis of John Minnis Estate Agents says although we can't predict the future, that the housing market will effectively start from where it left off.

Mr Minnis also said that there has been a sharp spike in online queries and traffic amid lockdown.

"No properties can transact, and until the Government presses play on the property market, we don't really have a market," he said.

"(This is a) health pandemic, not led by financial market or property - it's only a pause. You can't buy property at the minute."

He said when people get back to the market, prices are likely to start where they were before the crisis began.

"The market will need time. People are phoning me every day looking to view houses. There has been a spike in the analytics, and the interest in people logging on has gone through the roof while we are in lockdown."

Mr Minnis says there may be new demands from consumers, such as families with young children looking at buying a bigger house, while older people may look towards downsizing and buying a property with less upkeep.

"For all those reasons, it remains the same. That's the difference. There hasn't been a property boom so there won't be a property crash.

"I don't think we have lost any ground or gained, so we won't see that prices will have fluctuated up or down."

And turning to the commercial sector, which includes everything from offices to hotels, retail and hospitality, Richard McCaig, associate director at Osborne King, said: "In the commercial sector the majority of occupiers have faced significant challenges, in general the retail and leisure sectors have seen the greatest impact.

"Fortunately the use of technology has allowed businesses across various sectors to function and adapt their offering. The use of online ordering and delivery has now become even more important to smaller businesses and we may see increased demand for more industrial/business space to accommodate these changes rather than the more traditional shop space.

"The crisis has undoubtedly accelerated the demise of many high street occupiers who were already on shaky ground. The need to reshape and repurpose the traditional high street will come into focus more than ever.

"It is likely that the enforced changes to working patterns will have a lasting impact on the office sector and how businesses utilise space."