07 October 2016

Sales of development land are on the increase across Northern Ireland according to property experts, Osborne King, who expect to complete well over £10 million worth of sales before the end of the year. By any standards, 2016 has been a very encouraging year which has seen the company transact land sales in excess of £20 million representing a marked increase on activity over the previous 12-month period. 

To date, most of these sales have been within the Greater Belfast area and include the sale of a development site on the Malone Road, close to the House of Sport roundabout, which has planning consent for four semi-detached houses, and approximately two acres of land on a former industrial site on the Glenwell Road with planning permission for 35 detached houses.  Meanwhile, Osborne King has just listed a one-acre site at The Mount in East Belfast, benefitting from full planning for 75 apartments.  Beyond Belfast, the company has recently completed the sale of a five-acre site in Cookstown that has planning for 48 semi-detached houses and is also marketing a four-acre plus site at Islandmagee, which has full planning consent for a mixed scheme comprising 34 semi-detached and detached houses.  

Commenting on the level of current activity, Thomas Osborne, remarked, “There is no doubt that demand for development land is being influenced by a number of factors, namely the dearth of supply and strong demand for housing in certain areas such as Greater Belfast, Derry, Newry and the north coast, the availability of competitive mortgage products, development finance and, of course, the lowest interest rates in decades.  Increasingly, we are moving from forced sales to those driven by financial institutions and private clients which are resulting in increased values.”

Acknowledging the return of private developers to the market after a prolonged absence, he explained, “Developers nowadays want full planning permission to assist in funding the development.  From our experience, they want ready-to-go opportunities with clean and marketable title, all of which add value to their investment.  Land values have been increasing steadily over the past 18 months and we expect this trend to continue into 2017 especially for opportunities in the right location.”

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