With property prices having fallen by 30% in Northern Ireland already in the year to date, and prices for homes in the Republic of Ireland falling almost as fast, what can home owners and would be buyers find to be positive about?  You’d think the answer would be ‘very little’ – what with the lack of mortgages compounding the sense of doom and gloom all round.

But we at Degtev feel that there are actually reasons for staying positive as property prices plummet in Ireland – and elsewhere around the globe too for that matter – and in this article we’ll explore the reasons you have for remaining cheerful.

The Nationwide Building Society may believe that house prices in Northern Ireland are now worth almost a third less than they were a year ago, and the world may be pointing all fingers at southern Ireland as the first nation to officially fall into recession and mark the path for many other countries to come, but we still think that there is value and positivity in Ireland and here’s why: –

Reasons to be Cheerful – Irish Property Owners

1) If you’re a homeowner in Ireland and you really need to sell your property, you still can.  The key is getting the price right and getting it right from the outset.  We would advise you to get at least 3 market valuations, then look at real estate related websites for Ireland to get a good feel for what your home is worth.  Note that many estate agents are in the game for pricing up to 5% over the real value of a home so that there is room for negotiation – but if you really need to sell you probably want buyers through the door rather than the thought of having to play games to attract any serious interest.  Therefore, mark the property down for what you want to get for it and be prepared to go down a few percentage points too.  If you’re pricing sensibly and competitively, you will get interest.

2) In terms of hooking the ever-elusive buyer, you need to be as open and flexible, willing and able as possible.  You need to do the whole home makeover thing and de-clutter, de-personalise and maximise your curb appeal – then you need to make it clear that you can pack up, move out and if needs be, rent for a while just so that your buyers can complete when they want to.

3) If you’ve become totally disillusioned and are not getting any buyers through the door – pull out.  That’s right, take your house off the market.  Ignore the estate agents telling you to drop the price or just wait a while…if you’re fed up with a for sale sign outside just pull it down.  Market conditions will chance for the better in the medium-term.  Hold out if you can.

4) And for all those who do not really need to sell right now – don’t!  And what’s more, don’t panic that house prices are falling because every single property in the nation and every single home-owner is as affected as you – therefore the value of your home relative to the one next door won’t actually change!  Despite the massive media hype about all that is bad in the world, try and keep things in perspective!  If you have a roof over your head, be grateful and get a grip on things way more important than house prices.

5) Finally, if you’re fast running out of space and had intended to sell up and shift up a house bracket, now may be the time to look at extending outwards or upwards with a loft conversion, conservatory addition or extension.  Making the most of what you’ve got and ploughing what you would spend on mortgage fees, estate agent’s commission, conveyancing bills and removal costs on upgrading and extending your home could well be a better way to spend your money right now.

Reasons to be Cheerful – Irish Property Buyers

1) Falling prices = more affordable homes, and a dying market like the one in Ireland at the moment means that there are people out there who are unfortunately desperate to sell.  These are all benefits for those hoping to buy a property in Ireland.  Another benefit is the fact that developers of new homes are often open to amazing amounts of negotiation and a decent amount of real estate ends up at auction – more great ways to save money on a new home.

2) Be aware that despite apparent price drops of 30% in parts of Northern Ireland, there are areas across the whole of Ireland (north and south) that will not be so affected by the price crash.  Some areas have peaked when they really shouldn’t have, and it is in these areas where negative adjustments will follow.  Other areas of the nation where there remains intense demand fuelled by affluence will not experience such sharp declines.  Bear this in mind when searching out a bargain as you may not find what you’re expecting in all corners of the market.  All that said, you can still haggle hard at a time like this when vendors are naturally nervous and want to make a hasty exit from the market!

3) Look carefully into current property prices in the area you’re interested in, and bear in mind that to make a good buy you need to make a good buy in today’s market.  There’s no point predicting that prices will fall by XYZ% over the coming months – if a property is well priced in today’s market then it is well priced!  I.e., make sure you make a good purchase at a good price.

4) If you’re still convinced that properties have further to fall in price, consider renting for a while longer.

5) If you take this approach you still need to be ready to move fast when you either spot the property you want at the price that’s right for you, or you sense that a positive fluctuation in a falling market is imminent.  So in other words, get money matters all in order so that you are ready to strike when the moment is right!

A falling property market in Ireland isn’t all doom and gloom – and we should all remember that the media like to make the most out of a bad situation, so try and turn off the TV and the negativity that it pours into your house each day via the news, and focus on all the reasons that you have to be cheerful!