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Northern Ireland FTBs are thwarted

Only 10 per cent of Northern Ireland’s first-time buyers were able to enter the market last year.

Speaking at the Mortgage Business Expo in Belfast last week, University of Ulster senior lecturer Professor Paddy Grey told delegates that the dramatic increases in house prices in Northern Ireland over the last few years have pushed FTBs even further out of the market.

Grey said that in 2004, 60 per cent of FTBs were able to enter the market but this fell to 36 per cent in 2005 and just 10 per cent in 2007.

He said affordability is a key issue, with properties under £100,000 extremely difficult to find.

Grey said the private rented sector in Northern Ireland has seen rapid growth. “The private rented sector is very much seen as a sound investment. There has been a reliance on capital appreciation for quick returns or longer-term investment for pension funds,” he saidHe revealed that 84 per cent of landlords borrowed to buy properties and half of these had loan to values of 75 per cent or more.

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