Blend bullish on Northern Ireland property sector

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Blend Network has tipped the Northern Ireland property market for new lending opportunities in the future, as the property investment platform builds a presence in the province.

Earlier this year, Blend established its first Northern Irish office, hiring Philip Anderson as lending manager. The firm now plans to expand this presence with new hires to take advantage of the “buoyant residential market and limited supply of finance” in the region.

“The price of an average house in Northern Ireland has increased by nearly £28,000 since the start of the pandemic, equivalent to annual average earnings in the region,” said Anderson.

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“Data from the Nationwide House Price Index shows average Northern Irish house prices saw the second-fastest increase of all UK regions and nations last year (+12 per cent, year-on-year), higher than the average UK annual price rise and more than double that of London.

“In 2019, before the pandemic set off sharp house price rise across the UK, Northern Ireland saw the fastest growth in house prices (+3.2 per cent), more than six times UK growth (+0.5 per cent) at a time when the average London house price was declining.

“Similarly, we see very strong appetite from purchasers for finished units given lack of stock and supply and continued affordability.”

However, Anderson added that challenges remain in the Northern Ireland market. He pointed out that there are limited sites available with necessary planning permission, while sewer infrastructure and the availability of other essential utilities can be limited in some rural areas.

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