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Northern Irish property sellers face huge losses

Adam Williams
Written By:
Adam Williams

People who bought homes in Northern Ireland at the peak of the house price boom face up to 50% losses when they try to sell.

Despite house prices recovering in many areas of the UK, the price of homes in Northern Ireland remain some way behind their pre-crisis peak.

The city of Newry is home to some of the biggest losses, according to a report by the Belfast Telegraph.

Many people have been forced to sell their homes for half of what they paid for them according to Bronagh Boyd, director at estate agents Digney Boyd.

She said: “A couple who had just got married bought a standard three-bedroom semi-detached house outside Newry for £220,000 in 2006, but then they lost their jobs and could no longer pay the mortgage and ended up selling it for £93,000 in 2013.”

She said that one investor in Belfast had spent £900,000 on a luxury apartment and had seen its value plummet.

“He bought it in 2005 and sold it in 2013 for £400,000,” she said.

Your Mortgage reported earlier this year how government funding for debt advice services was being increased, as many people struggle with housing costs.

This followed a review into Northern Irish borrowers which found high levels of both negative equity and houses at risk of repossession.

Boyd said that many borrowers she worked with found it difficult to come to terms with the price falls.

“A young woman recently burst into tears when I told her the house she bought in 2006 for over £200,000 is only worth £87,500 today,” she added.