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Northern Ireland house sellers urged to 'get real' over prices

Householders in Northern Ireland trying to sell their homes were told today to "get real". Sellers must be more realistic about the asking price if they are to make a sale in 2009, according to a leading property expert.

Tom McClelland, Northern Ireland housing spokesman for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors , said while the asking prices for new build homes had been cut significantly, expectations among many private vendors in the resale market regarding prices remained excessively high.

He said average prices had fallen around 30% so far from their peak and he predicted another 10% before they hit the bottom.

Mr McClelland said: "Where sellers have been realistic regarding asking prices, our experience is that they have been able to make sales.

"This has been very evident in the market for new build starter homes where developers have cut prices significantly and there has been demand from purchasers."

But he added: "In the resale market however vendors are less willing to accept that the value of their property is significantly lower than when it was at its peak."

There are large variations in the local housing market in terms of property type and geographical area, he said.

Some property types had therefore fallen in value more than others and some parts of Northern Ireland had experienced larger price corrections.

Some sectors and areas would reach a floor before others, he predicted - expressing the belief the price drop in the market for new build starter homes had by-and-large taken place.

Looking at the average house price Mr McClelland said: "The reality is that it has fallen around 30% to date and our view is that it will fall a total of around 40% from peak to trough.

"Vendors in the resale market must reflect the new realities in asking prices if they are to make sales."

Belfast Telegraph

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