NW lender says there’s been surge in buyers

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The boss of a Londonderry lender says there was an increase of 67 per cent in second time buyer approved mortgages and an eight per cent increase in approved first time buyer mortgages in 2015 compared to the previous year.

Noel Murray, Progressive Building Society Branch Manager claims housing growth in Londonderry has been spurred on by the availability of affordable homes including the introduction of new build developments such as Bayview Gardens, Clooney Park Gardens, Prehen Woods, Gortin Meadows, Butlers Wharf, and Beech Grove, with the average house price in Londonderry £90,451, 71 per cent less than the Northern Ireland average.

He said: “We’re seeing an improvement in the housing market in Derry-Londonderry at the moment, with our in- branch qualified mortgage advisors witnessing an upward trend in the home movers sector here. The availability of quality and affordable homes has played a key role in the increased activity among both first time and second time buyers.”

“For those still struggling to raise a deposit and make the move from renting to purchasing their first home, we have introduced the Help to Buy: ISA that will offer savers aged 16 and over a 25 per cent bonus of up to £3,000 from the government towards their first home, provided they save between £1,600 and £12,000. Almost 3,000 people per day across the UK have opened up a Help to Buy: ISA since it was introduced and I would recommend anyone with goals of owning their own home to explore this initiative, we expect the Help to Buy: ISA to be very popular with both Members and potential members in Derry-Londonderry.

“We have more information available about the product on our website, or if you call into the branch.

“My prediction for the housing market in Derry-Londonderry for the remainder of 2016 is that it will continue to be an opportune time for home buyers to purchase a new property.

“We will have further new build developments on the market in 2016 including Belt Road, Lower Galliagh Road and Culmore providing approximately 500 more local homes, and this will further aid the increase in property purchases in the Derry~Londonderry area.”