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Buying a house in Northern Ireland in 2023

kupno domu w Irlandii Północnej

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We had to bring this topic up on our blog. We’ve already discussed buying a house in England, Wales and Scotland, so logic dictates that now, it’s time for Northern Ireland! From today’s article, you will learn about, amongst other things:

  • Property prices in Northern Ireland
  • The formalities involved in buying a house in Ireland
  • Local regulations related to mortgages in this country

We warmly invite you to read on.

How much does a house cost in Northern Ireland?

First, let’s take a look at perhaps the most important detail associated with buying a property, namely prices. According to statistics for the first quarter of 2023, buying a house in Northern Ireland involves an average cost of £172,005. Although prices have risen by around 5% on the previous year, we are still talking about amounts that are significantly lower than for the UK as a whole. You can read about the figures for the UK as a whole in this article.

Listings on Zoopla confirm that a 3-bedroom house can be found for less than £150,000! As usual, prices depend on a number of factors, such as location, property condition and amenities, but we can assume that overall, homes in Ireland are noticeably cheaper than in England and Scotland.

Average property prices in Ireland by region

buying a house in Northern ireland prices
RegionAverage price
Lisburn£204,122
Causeway Coast£196,021
Ards and North Down£191,690
Newry£183,203
Antrim and Newtownabbey£177,272
Mid Ulster£163,498
Mid and East Antrim£159,984
Belfast£158,219
Fermanagh£158,172
Armagh£154,738
Derry City£148,548
Buying a house in Northern Ireland – table of average property prices; Source: BelfastLive

Tax on buying a property in Northern Ireland – SDLT

If you’ve read the articles on our blog, you probably know that when you buy a house in England, you are required to pay tax on the transaction. This is known as Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). For Northern Ireland, it’s all done in exactly the same way – you’ll find the rates and information on SDLT paperwork in this article.

Let us also point out that in Northern Ireland you could benefit from the First Time Buyer scheme. Due to the lower property prices, you may not pay SDLT.

Assistance schemes in Northern Ireland

As with Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), Northern Ireland’s assistance schemes are very similar to those in England. Among the most important of these, are:

  • Right to Buy – this scheme allows you to receive a grant of £112,300 (£84,200 out of London). You will receive help if you have been renting a social housing property for a minimum of 5 years and the amount will depend on a number of factors;
  • First time buyer – by using this scheme, you will receive Stamp Duty Land Tax reduction relief;
  • Shared Ownership Scheme – this scheme allows you to buy a property jointly with the state – you buy a share and rent for the rest. This is a great way for people who don’t have a lot of savings to buy a property.

Not sure if you qualify for any of the programmes? Get in touch with us! Together we’ll see if you can save some money on your purchase.

Is buying a house in Northern Ireland worthwhile?

Some of our clients wonder whether buying a house pays off more than renting. In the case of Ireland, we can answer almost unequivocally – yes! Although property prices in this country are noticeably lower than in the rest of the UK, homes are increasing in value at a high rate. In our view, prices will continue to rise, even if there are minor reductions or market slowdowns from time to time.

In addition, property prices are always related to rental costs. When applying for mortgage, the bank takes into account the expected rental profits, so if rent becomes more expensive, so do the houses.

The relationship between wages and property prices is also very attractive. The average annual salary in Northern Ireland is around 10% lower than in the UK as a whole, while properties are c.a. 40% cheaper (£172.000 vs £286.000). This means that by living in Ireland, you will earn more quickly on the average house than you would in England.

Buying a house to rent in Northern Ireland

Due to lower property prices, investing in a rental property in Ireland is more affordable. Although banks such as Barclays and HSBC continue to require a high deposit (minimum 25%), the lower purchase price means you need to prepare less cash to apply for a mortgage successfully . Let us also point out that you do not have to live in Northern Ireland to buy a rental property in there.

In addition, the rental property market in Northern Ireland is growing steadily. This means that your Buy to Let mortgage may prove to be a really good investment.

How long does it take to buy a house in Northern Ireland?

Buying a house in Northern Ireland can typically take between 2 and 3 months. During this time, it’s possible to go through all stages of the process, starting with choosing the right property and ending with finding a solicitor and signing all the necessary documents.

If the situation is more complicated (problems with the legal status of the property, delayed moving out of the previous owners), buying a house can take up to six months. Usually, however, you manage to pick up the keys within 10-14 weeks of starting the whole process.

Summary

We hope that our article has helped you in your decision about buying a house in Ireland. If it has, we warmly invite you to get in touch – your first consultation is free and doesn’t commit you to anything, during which we will check your creditworthiness and together consider whether your dream of owning your own home is achievable now. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Think carefully about securing other debts against your home. Your home or property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debts secured on it.

Your Home (or property) may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debts secured on it. Conveyancing services and some forms of Buy to Let mortgages are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Your Home (or property) may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debts
secured on it.

Your Home (or property) may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debts secured on it. Conveyancing services are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Extend Finance nor The Right Mortgage Limited can’t provide advice regarding Personal Pensions, Pension planning or investment planning advice. You must seek independent financial advice from a suitably qualified professional financial adviser who may charge you for advice.

Wills, Will writing, Trusts and Trust planning are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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