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First-time home buyers told to take €5,000 – ‘deal of a lifetime’

THE Government is warning young couples tempted to buy a house to act now — or lose out on a €5,000-a-year “offer of a lifetime”.

In last year’s Budget, Finance Minister Michael Noonan announced a mortgage interest relief deal worth as much as €5,000 a year for first-time buyer couples.

However, the deal finishes at the end of this year, and a mortgage must be drawn down by December 31 for people to avail of the offer.

In an interview with the Irish Independent, junior finance minister Brian Hayes said the deal would not be extended in December’s Budget, and buyers must act before the “train will have left the station”.

“This is an offer of a lifetime, it won’t come again,” said Mr Hayes. “All our futures are based on getting the property market going again. People need to act fast to avail of it.”

There have been calls to extend the scheme as the property market stabilises, but this is being firmly ruled out. The offer made little difference in the first half of the year, with only 2,858 properties sold to first-time buyers — almost the exact same amount as the same period last year.

However, there may be an end-of-year spike, as those who were waiting for prices to drop are forced to move or lose out on the deal. But anyone tempted to buy only has weeks to go through the mortgage process, get approval and buy a house.

First-time buyers will get up to €5,000 a year for six years in mortgage interest relief if they buy this year and Mr Noonan said his scheme was aimed at breaking the “rainy-day” mentality among the under-35s.

Mr Hayes said there was evidence of increased mortgage transactions in recent months, and urged people who may already have mortgage approval to “transact” their mortgages in the coming months to avail of the offer.

“If they don’t get on it now, the train will have left the station and it will be too late to act,” the Dublin South West TD said. “People should be aware that it’s coming to an end, and they should buy if they can.”

Mr Hayes also said the banks had a role to play in ensuring that as many people as possible get their mortgages before the deadline is up.

Mr Noonan’s proposals were designed at breathing some life into the property market, targeting those who were holding off buying a house.

Mortgage interest relief will not be available for anyone who buys a house from next year, and it will be fully abolished by 2018. But for those buying their first property this year, Mr Noonan increased the amount from 15pc to 25pc.


The offer applies not just to the purchase of a house, but the “repair, development or improvement of a claimant’s principal private residence”.

“Even when they have a very good family income, I think the psychological effect is to save rather than invest,” Mr Noonan when he unveiled the offer.

“Everybody has a rainy day mentality and I’m trying to break that.”

Replying to Fianna Fail‘s Michael McGrath in the Dail recently, Mr Noonan also said the relief was “not confined to first-time buyers”.

People who already own a property can also avail of a 15pc rate, up from 10pc, until the end of the year.

– Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

Irish Independent

Stamp Duty

The recent budget change of altering stamp duty to 1% for all residential transactions should have a positive effect on the saleability of re-sale properties in the residential sector. This 1% rate is also applicable to new homes sales which were previously exempt but we do not feel that this will have any particular effect on this sector due to the very high price falls that it has experienced in the last few years.

The new rate of 1% now applies to all transactions whether you are a first time buyer or not or if you are purchasing a new or second hand home.

For properties valued up to €1,000,000, the new flat rate of 1% of the purchase price applies. For properties valued over €1,000,000 the rate of 1% applies to the first €1,000,000 and a rate of 2% applies to the balance.

For Example: A non-first time buyer who was purchasing a second hand property for €1.5million would have paid €106,250 in stamp duty, now with the new reduced rate they would only have to pay €15,000 in stamp duty.

Commercial rates remain unchanged.

Residential Property Lettings – Let DNG Flanagan Ford take the stress out of your investment

DNG Flanagan Ford has a dedicated Residential Lettings Division which is headed up by Tess Monaghan. The letting side of their business is proving to be very successful & this is a direct result of the high quality service which is being provided to landlords & tenants. When you choose DNG Flanagan Ford to manage your rental property on your behalf, their job is only beginning when they source a suitable tenant. What you can expect from them includes:

* Excellent customer service

* Experienced letting team

* On call 7 days a week

* 24hr professional maintenance team

* Existing database of quality tenants

* Extensive website coverage

* Prominent window advertising at our city centre office

* Competitive rates

What really sets DNG Flanagan Ford apart from the competition is the aftercare service provided for both landlords & tenants. Tess is always on hand to resolve any issues which may arise from heating & plumbing problems to normal household issues.

Speaking to the Sligo Champion, Tess commented on the current rental market in Sligo. “The rental market, similar to the sales market, has taken a hammering over the past couple of years. Landlords have seen their rental income reduce & in many instances have seen their rental property lie vacant for months on end. In saying this, good houses & apartments are always in demand. When I talk about good properties I mean well presented, clean properties with up to date heating systems, double glazed windows etc. These are all things we take for granted when purchasing a home, but they are very high on the list of requirements for prospective tenants also. I am inundated daily with requests from prospective tenants for all types of properties from 1 bed city centre apartments to 4 bed detached houses within easy commuting distance of Sligo. At the moment, tenants are really shopping around when their leases are coming near the end for a better quality house at an atrractive price. It comes back to the age old scenario that if you have a good product it will rent & will achieve a good rental price. The areas that are proving most popular at present are Strandhill Road & Strandhill village itself. I am keen to talk to anyone with an investment property in these areas, & indeed all areas of Sligo city & suburbs to discuss the service I provide & my competitive rates.”

Some tips for the successful letting of your investment property:

* Choose DNG Flanagan Ford!

* Present your property in a clean, attractive state

* Put yourself in the shoes of the tenant & make sure your property is somewhere you would like to live

* Have a realistic rental figure in mind – too often properties are pitched with a rental price which is excessive & tenants just won’t be interested

* Remember – First Impressions Last

* Remember – Every month your house is vacant you’re losing money

Tess Monaghan is available to talk to landlords at any time & can be reached at 071 9159222, 086 3999062, tess@dngflanaganford.ie, or indeed call to our office at Shell House, Wine Sreet, Sligo

Latest Edition of DNG Express Now Available at DNG Flanagan Ford

DNG Express is an all encompassing property paper with properties listed from across the length & breadth of the country. Douglas Newman Good has a very strong presence nationwide with branches in all major towns & cities, along with 17 branches in Dublin. DNG Flanagan Ford have 2 pages of properties & sites listed in this paper ranging in prices from €50,000 & upwards. Even if you are not sourcing a property in Sligo, you will find information on available properties throughout the country & contact details for excellent property sales teams in each area.

Keith Lowe, CEO of DNG, used an excerpt from an article which recently appeared in the Wall Street Journal as the opening message for the latest edition of DNG Express. The article was entitled “10 Reasons to Buy a home” & was in response to specific negative media sentiment in Time Magazine. The property market in many parts of the USA has been hit severely & in some cases harder than Ireland. The 10 reasons given in the Wall Street Journal article apply to this country also & the following is Keiths take on the reasons why:

You can get a good deal – Property prices have virtually halved in Ireland. Similar to America there may still be a little further to go but you’ll never catch at the bottom & according to the WSJ “it doesn’t really matter so much in the long haul”, a comment I would echo.

Mortgages are cheap – At the date of this article a first time buyer can obtain a mortgage through Irish Nationwide Building Society at 3.7% fixed for three years or at a variable rate of 2.9% through the Home Choice Loan. It was not that long ago when mortgage rates were twice the current price.

You’ll save taxes – Similar to the USA, first time buyers buying their home can qualify for attractive mortgage interest relief on their mortgage repayments and there is no capital gains tax when they sell in the future.

It’ll be yours – You can have the kitchen & bathrooms you want – You can move the walls or tear up the garden! You cannot do this if you are renting!

You’ll get a better home – Buyers are in a very strong negotiating position & with much lower prices, purchasers can buy a home that they would not have been able to afford in the past & in their chosen location.

It offers some protection against inflation – Over the long term property prices have always beaten inflation especially if you are young & looking at staying in your home for 20 or 30 years.

It’s risk capital – Your home is not stocks & shares but the economy will surprise you & start growing at some time in the future. Sooner or later property prices will rise again too & I bet it will be quicker than you think!

It’s forced savings – By paying a mortgage, which in many cases is higher than your rental cost, you are essentially saving for your future. The part of your mortgage payment that goes against principal is not a cost as you are building equity in your home.

There is a lot to choose from – It differs depending on the locality in Ireland, but there is quite a lot of good property to choose from at the moment. This will change when the market improves, but at the moment this means great choice at great prices!

Call to DNG Flanagan Fords office at Shell House, Wine Street to pick up your copy of DNG Express today. All of our properties are also listed on our website at www.dngflanaganford.ie

Current State of Sligo’s Property Market

There is lots of media attention being given to the turbulent times being experienced in the property market at national level & to try to give an overview of where the market is at locally we have recently spoken to Shane Flanagan of DNG Flanagan Ford to find out what they are experiencing in the current market.

“The Sligo market has suffered the same percentage falls as experienced in most other provisional towns around the Country. From our research the average price fall in the market place is between 35% & 40%. However there are cases which this is both lower & greater. 2010 has seen a great improvement in the volume of sales which we have managed to achieve over our 2009 figures.

In 2009 a large percentage of booking deposits paid were ultimately refunded as the property market continued to fall at quite a fast pace. With buyers seeing the market fall at slower pace we are experiencing far greater percentage of sale completions over the first 9 months of this year. Vendors have helped us in this regard. Most people we talk to at the moment who are considering selling are prepared to put the property up for sale at realistic values. They are no longer looking for 2006 prices and this has lead to a strong increase in the number of viewings we are getting. We anticipate the market will start to level very shortly with a sense of normality returning. And not a day too soon!!!” said Shane Flanagan.

This trend seems to be the same as experienced by many other agents in the area who all collectively seem to be reporting an increase in the level of viewings, especially for properties which have recently been placed on the market.

According to Shane Flanagan of DNG Flanagan Ford some properties that they have placed on the market recently have sold in the first 2 weeks after being placed on the market

“We recently placed a property on the market in Heatherview, which we sold within the first 10 days of it going on to the property market.

We have numerous other experiences of properties going to the market with realistic asking prices at todays date where viewing numbers are at levels not seen for almost 4 years in the Sligo area. We are currently under offer on 5 different properties & deals are being done very regularly, but more importantly these deals are actually being completed by the willing buyers ” .

To get the most up to date list of all the properties available on their books with prices etc visit their website at www.dngflanaganford.ie & they would be delighted to arrange an inspection for you of any of the properties that may suit your needs.

DNG report significantly improved sales activity at DNG National Conference held last Tuesday in Galway

Network offices of property company Douglas Newman Good Offices reported positive signs of recovery in the property market with an increase in sales and viewing levels across Ireland at its annual National Conference in the Carlton Shearwater Hotel in Ballinasloe, Co Galway. Attendees at the conference also reported that the rate of price decline has sharply decreased over the last quarter of 2009 and that the market appears to be very close to stabilisation. However this was after large price reductions were seen across all sectors of the market for the first three quarters of 2009.

DNG also noted positive signs in the property market with a large drop in the number of customers requesting the return of their booking deposits paid down to 5% from a high of 30% during the height of the property crisis.

According to Keith Lowe CEO, DNG Nationwide “This is very significant and our agency has not experienced a statistic like this since the boom years. Since the property market started to experience a re-alignment in late 2006 the number of buyers who paid our agency booking deposits on homes and then changed their buying decision was as high as 30%. This important statistic indicates that buyer confidence has improved and that prospective purchasers are not finding better value elsewhere in addition to not having problems arranging their mortgage. Many buyers are also advising us that they are keen to purchase now and take advantage of low long term fixed interest rates.”

It was also reported that property prices in the greater Dublin area have dropped by an average of 48% since peak in late 2006 but that the level of drop of 4% in the last quarter of 2009 was much less than the three previous quarters. According to the organisation this indicates that property prices in the greater Dublin area are close to stabilisation and the agency is predicting some level of price growth in certain areas of the market as early as next year if not before.

Attendees also heard that the number of new properties coming to the market for sale throughout the country has also reduced and that this reduced choice for buyers should also assist recovery of the property market.

The conference also reported that it is imperative that the government continue to ensure that there are sufficient levels of finance available through Irish financial institutions for property transactions as a vibrant property market is essential to assist economic recovery.

Keith Lowe also added “Following the very sharp countrywide price falls in property prices over the last three years it is encouraging to see much increased viewing and sales activity in the property market. Sales in our Dublin network have increased by over 30% this year compared to the same period in 2009. There is normally a time lag between market changes in Dublin and the rest of Ireland and it is encouraging to see evidence of improved activity already being experienced throughout the DNG nationwide network”

Speaking at the conference Shane Flanagan of DNG Flanagan Ford commented on the increased level of activity in the Sligo area. “Since December 2009 we have seen a notable increase in not only the quantity of viewings we have, but also the quality of viewings, ie the majority of viewers are genuinely interested in purchasing a property. We feel that prospective purchasers now recognise that there is excellent value to be had at present in Sligo & surrounding villages & towns. We have Sale Agreed numerous properties over the past few months & almost all of these sales are expected to conclude successfully.” Shane added “Some of the lending institutions are now lending funds especially to first time buyers & we have already seen the positive impact this is having on the local property market. Many sellers are now far more realistic about the price they wish their property to be placed on the market at & this has been a massive factor in attracting increased viewing numbers. This is a trend we expect to continue over the coming months.”

About Douglas Newman Good & DNG Nationwide.

Douglas Newman Good (DNG) are the largest seller of residential property in the greater Dublin area and operate a network of 67 real estate offices throughout the Ireland.


On Friday 22nd January at the Irish Auctioneers and Valuers Institute (IAVI) Annual Conference in the Burlington Hotel, Marie McDonald from Carraroe was presented with the Owen O’Riordan Memorial Medal for academic excellence in the Institute’s Higher Certificate course by IAVI President Ms Aine Myler.

The IAVI has supported, and insisted upon, high academic standards in the property profession for many years. In partnership with the Dublin Institute of Technology it runs two property courses – an Honours Degree and a Higher Certificate in property studies.

To recognise the achievements of two students who achieve academic excellence in these programmes, the IAVI awards a medal to the student who achieves first place in each course. For the Higher Certificate course, the Institute awards the Owen O’Riordan Memorial Medal, the 2009 winner is Marie McDonald who works with DNG Flanagan Ford in Sligo.

For the Higher Certificate course, the Institute awards the Owen O’Riordan Memorial Medal. Owen was a student on the IAVI Residential and Land Agency course, (the forerunner of the Higher Certificate). Whilst on the course, Owen was diagnosed with a serious illness. Despite this, he battled on and continued his studies until he died aged 21, still attending lectures on the course, in 2005. The winner of this for 2009 is Marie McDonald who works with DNG Flanagan Ford in Sligo.

Pictured left to right are: IAVI President Ms Aine Myler, Chairman of Sunderland AFC Mr Niall Quinn, medal winner Marie Mc Donald and Shane Flanagan, Director DNG Flanagan Ford.

Pictured left to right are: IAVI President Ms Aine Myler, Chairman of Sunderland AFC Mr Niall Quinn, medal winner Marie Mc Donald and Shane Flanagan, Director DNG Flanagan Ford.

Marie joined DNG Flanagan Ford in 2001, initially working in the financial services side of the business for the first 3 years & during this time studied with the Institute of Bankers & received her QFA qualification along with a Certificate in Investment Advice. However in 2004 Marie took a keen interest in the auctioneering side of the business. DNG Flanagan Ford have always placed strong emphasis on all members of staff attaining the highest standards of qualifications relevant to their work. “We at DNG Flanagan Ford are absolutely thrilled for Marie. We saw at first hand the effort she was putting in & we knew that with her dedication & excellent work ethic she was always going to do well in this course. To come Number 1 in the country when so many are attending was an absolutely massive achievement & we are all so proud of her” said Shane Flanagan of DNG Flanagan Ford. “Marie brings this level of enthusiasm & dedication to work everyday of the week & this award will serve as not only a huge confidence boost for Marie, but will also I think, give her great satisfaction for the huge effort she put in while attending this course which included many weekends & mid week journeys to Dublin to attend long lectures.”

The Hawthorns, Carraroe, Sligo – Reduced Property Prices

New Houses in Carraroe only €199,750!

It will be hard to beat this for value, 3 Bed Semi Detached Homes in Carraroe, Sligo for only €199,750. The remaining 3 bed semi detached houses in The Hawthorns are now on release at this rockbottom price & with just 10 properties remaining demand is already high. Buyers in the current climate are seeking value for money, affordable prices, excellent locations & high standard of finish. Recent purchasers of homes in The Hawthorns quite clearly had all of these expectations met, are delighted with their new homes & will be well settled in in time for Christmas. Denise Church purchased a property in The Hawthorns & moved into her new home recently. “I felt that this was the right time to take the first step onto the property ladder. With mortgage interest rates at their lowest ever & prices also reduced to such an affordable level it made absolute sense to take advantage of this & purchase my own place. I have rented for a number of years & I got to the stage where it felt like money down the drain every month. But I thought that the only way I could afford my own home was to buy outside of Sligo & that’s not where I want to be. So when I noticed the reduced prices of the properties in The Hawthorns I had no hesitation in booking a property there. The standard of finish in the house is second to none & the development itself is always so well kept & tidy. I would definitely recommend anyone thinking of buying to go for it now, with just a few houses left in The Hawthorns we’re not going to see value like this again in Sligo town.”

Laura Mannion, pictured here at her new home, had spent the last year or so viewing properties, new & second-hand, and like all of us was waiting for the market to ‘bottom out’ before making the decision to buy her first home. “When I first starting seriously looking for my first home The Hawthorns ticked every box, but unfortunately the price was over my budget, which led me to consider buying in new developments outside Sligo in commuter towns. But living in Sligo has always been my preference for convenience & less of a commute so I found it difficult to commit to purchasing in a development so far out from town, even though the prices were at a level which I could afford. I noticed recently that the prices in The Hawthorns had been reduced & just couldn’t believe my luck! I booked my house with DNG Flanagan Ford & I have never looked back. My house will be ready to move into in a matter of days & the builders have been fantastic to deal with & so accommodating with any requests I have made. I am thrilled to have my own house in Sligo town without having to blow the budget & can’t even comprehend having to commute a long distance into town every day!!”

Viewings & further information on Phase 3 can be obtained by contacting joint selling agents:
DNG Flanagan Ford 071 9159222, 087 2721367, marie@dngflanaganford.ie, www.dngflanaganford.ie

John Leyden & Sons Auctioneers 071 9167655, 086 2538254, info@leydenauctioneers.com, www.leydenauctioneers.com

Laura Mannion at her new home in The Hawthorns


The Local Government (Charges) Act 2009 gives effect to the Government’s decision to introduce a €200 charge for non principal private residences. The liability for the charge arises mainly in respect of rental, holiday and vacant properties, and the revenue stream will flow to city and county councils. Liability will arise for owners of the property concerned at a point in time, being one day in each calendar year to be known as the “liability date”. 31 July will be the liability date in 2009 and 31 march in subsequent years. Failure to pay the charge within one month of the date it falls due will result in a liability for a late payment fee calculated at the rate of €20 for each month or part of a month that the charge remains unpaid.

Provision is also made for ancillary provisions such as: agreements between local authorities or between local authorities and the either or both the Local Government Computer Services Board and the Local Government Management Services Board; data sharing; and offences and penalties.

The Act represents a significant broadening of the revenue base for local authorities. Certain residential property will now provide a revenue stream to local authorities for the first time in over thirty years since the abolition of domestic rates in 1977. Longer term, the taxation of domestic property is likely to be guided by the report of the Commission on Taxation which is due later this year.
Main features of Act

· The Act provides for the introduction of a charge of €200 per annum on non principal private residences.

· The Act is relatively short and straightforward. The charge arises at a point in time each year called the ‘liability date’. It applies to residential property with certain exceptions, the most important being principal private residences. Owners (not occupiers) are liable to pay it, and the funds will be paid to local authorities (county and city councils). It can be said to be a form of self-assessment in that it is for the owners of residential property to assess whether they are liable to pay the charge, and local authorities are not required to issue bills. Failure to pay within one month of the due date incurs a late payment fee of €20 a month.

· The interpretation sections (1 and 2) are the most complex and substantive in the Act. These define “building”, “dwelling” and “residential property”. Together, these definitions represent the cornerstone of the Act: “building” defines structures; “dwelling” defines use; and together these form the core of the definition of “residential property” which is what the charge will apply to.

· Liability will arise at a point in time each year, and this day is called the ‘liability date’. 31 July has been prescribed as the liability date for 2009 and 31 March will be the liability date in subsequent years. Payment falls due two months after the liability date.

· The Act exempts certain types of property and owners from the charge. The most important exemption relates to principal private residences. Other types of buildings exempted are those: newly constructed but unsold; with heritage merit; let directly or indirectly by local authorities for social housing; let by voluntary housing bodies; the subject of a shared ownership arrangement with local authorities.

· Other exemptions apply where: a person purchases a property for use as a principal private residence provided they dispose of their existing property within 6 months; a charity owns the property; and where a spouse or ex spouse has an interest in a property after a divorce or separation agreement but does not reside there. The Act also provides that mobile homes are exempt, and that certain ‘granny flats’ and principal private residences vacated due to illness resulting in incapacitation are exempt

· The Act provides that payment of the charge shall be made to county and city councils. The Budget estimated the annual yield from the charge at €40 million but it is estimated from census and other data that there may be 400,000 properties in the state liable for the charge. The full potential yield would, therefore, be closer to €80 million. It is likely that collection levels from rental properties (200,000) will be higher than holiday homes and vacant homes because PRTB data will assist local authorities to identify rental properties.

· In the event of non payment of a charge for which a person is liable by the due date, a late payment fee of €20 will apply for each month or part of a month for which the charge remains unpaid. An unpaid charge and late payment fee will be a charge against the property in respect of which the liability arose.

· Local authorities can delegate functions to the Local Government Computer Services Board and/or the Local Government Management Services Board. In practice the LGCSB will design and operate a web-site facilitating electronic payment of the charge.

· Provision is made for data exchange between local authorities and the PRTB, ESB and the Revenue Commissioners. This data should assist local authorities to identify properties liable for the charge but there is no comprehensive database of residential property within the State that is liable for this €200 charge. The PRTB hold data in relation to rental properties, the ESB’s systems can generate data in relation to residential properties where a relatively low quantum of electricity is used (indicating the possibility of a holiday or a vacant property) and the Revenue Commissioners hold data in relation to certain property transactions (stamp duty, VAT and capital gains taxes).

Dark clouds hang over the property market, however there is a silver lining

The property market continues to endure a difficult time at present, with the slides in values which commenced in 2007 yielding between 20% & 30% falls in property across the country. This has lead to property in many areas becoming far more affordable & within more buyers reach. This more difficult property market is causing buyers to be far more discerning & choosy about the particular properties they wish to acquire.

The old adage of the three most important things to consider when buying a property are location, location and location has never been more relevant than it is today. What we are finding here at DNG Flanagan Ford is that appropriately priced property in good locations can still find buyers. We do have some properties on our books that have been there for quite a considerable length of time with very few viewings being attracted even when prices are moderately reduced. However in the more popular locations when prices are reduced to reflect the current levels in the market, viewers are forthcoming & we are making successful sales. It is important, I think, for people to realise that all that is happening in the market place is a correction in property prices. Vendors wishing to make sales need to reposition themselves in the current market to reflect prices which the market is prepared to pay. Luckily we have many of those vendors on our books who are prepared to be both realistic & honest about the value of their property.

An example of this is a development called The Hawthorns which is located behind the Carraroe Retail Park here in Sligo city. This scheme saw property prices reduced from a high of €320,000 for a 3 bedroom semi detached down to €200,000 in February of this year. Since that date in February we have successfully sold no fewer than 20 new homes in this scheme. There are many other examples similar to this, such as Dorrins Strand in Strandhill etc. The second hand market continues to endure a tough time, however again at realistic levels sales continue to happen. In the past two weeks our office has sold — 6 second hand properties in the Sligo area. It has also been reported in the DNG offices based in the Greater Dublin area that sales for the month of June of this year were at a record high for the past 2 years. This can be put down to the dramatic correction in prices allowing properties to be far more affordable.

A brief example to explain how much more affordable property has become is to consider The Hawthorns. When we were selling 3 bedroom semi detached houses in this scheme for €320,000 interest rates were running at approximately 5.3%, now that prices have been reduced to €200,000 interest rates are also down to a record all time low of 2.4%. The difference in monthly mortgage repayments as a result of the price reduction & the interest rate reduction is almost €900 per month. The old repayment would have been in excess of €1,542 per month & the new repayments are less than €650 per month.

In relation to market sentiment overall, none of us are living in a cocoon or are immune to the constant barrage of bad news being reported in all sectors of the media. Some of this reporting is pure honest reporting & some if it may be described as sensationalising. However, there is no way of avoiding the fact that we are going through one of the most difficult economic times that the country has ever experienced. Like the constant rise with property, it is important for all of us to realise that falls in property cannot continue either. The difficulty – from a buyers prospective is that we will not know when property prices have bottomed out until they start rising again. Buyers who wish to put off their decision until they know that the property market has bottomed out will surely miss that point in the market by continuing to wait. The only way we will know that the property market has bottomed out is if property prices start to rise. In my opinion the cost of buying a home in the current market has never been more affordable & there are excellent opportunities out there for those buyers prepared to put time & effort in to seek out a suitable property to suit their requirements. My advise would be to start looking and look carefully …………