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Belfast Buy-to-Let Guide

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    Everything You Need to Know About Belfast Buy-to-Let

    Looking to invest in Northern Ireland? We’ve got you covered!

    In August 2023, average house prices in Northern Ireland dropped by 5.3%. In 2024 and beyond, the majority of predictions suggest substantial increases over the next five years.

    Investors may be interested in purchasing new properties now while prices are low. They could enjoy greater capital appreciation and considerable ROI.

    If you are interested in a buy-to-let property investment, this could be the best opportunity to enter the market.

    But where should you invest?

    Many investors look to the UK capital cities for buy-to-let investment opportunities. The likes of Belfast, Edinburgh and London buy-to-let all have fantastic economies. They offer diverse job opportunities. They have great transport links to the rest of the country and further afield. They also have booming student rental markets and diversified regions with varying rental yields.

    Today, we’re looking at buy-to-let property investment in Belfast. We will look at property prices and rental demand. In addition, we’ll cover the best areas to invest in. We also cover the history of the city and local amenities.

    Read on for more information on buy-to-let and how it works.

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      Buy-to-Let Property Prices in Belfast

      According to the Zoopla House Price Index, Belfast’s average property price in July 2023 stood at £168,200, a 1.2% decrease from the July 2022 price.

      The nationwide average stands at £261,500. This is a 0.6% increase over the last 12 months.

      In short, Belfast property prices are cheaper compared to the national average. They are also declining in price.

      As such, 2024 has the potential to be a good time to invest in a Belfast home, with most experts suggesting that buying cheap and selling when property prices course correct in the future could be the right path for investors.

      Learn More: Discover the costs of buy-to-let in 2024 or how to start investing in property with our updated beginner guides!

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      Buy-to-Let Rental Market in Belfast

      Home puts the average rental income in Belfast at £1,104 PCM. According to those stats, houses have an average rent of £1,057 PCM. Flats are the most expensive property type for tenants and can be let out for an average of £1,20. Meanwhile, a single-room rental property can go for £871 PCM.

      According to housesforsaletorent.co.uk, the area with the best rental yield in Belfast is BT3. This postcode includes the Belfast Harbour Estate, which provides jobs for many locals.

      The area with the lowest rental yield is BT8. This area comprises Carryduff, Four Winds, Knockbreda and Newtownbreda. The average yield in these areas is 3.9%, but you can find higher-quality properties.

      In 2023, the average yield for the entirety of Belfast was 5.8%. At the same time, the UK average rental yield was 4.75%. With this in mind, investing in Belfast properties could see a healthier-than-average yield on a buy-to-let investment.

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      Buy-to-Let Investment in Belfast: Area Breakdown

      Landlords should conduct research into the local area before making buy-to-let investment decisions. This ensures they achieve their desired rental yield and buy a property right for their strategy.

      In this section, we’ll be looking at the different Belfast postcodes. We’ll cover everything you need to know about the property market in those locations.

      Disclaimer: All figures are based on statistics from housesforsaletorent.co.uk.

      BT1 and BT2

      These postcodes cover the Belfast city centre. With this in mind, property prices can either be high or low, depending on the neighbourhood. The postcodes are close to many job opportunities and transport links.

      Average Property Prices in BT1 and BT2

      The average property price of an investment property in BT1 is £1954,494. BT2 has an average price of £143,162.

      Average Rental Yields in BT1 and BT2

      The average rental yield in BT1 is 5.4%. BT2 has a yield of 7.6%.

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        BT3

        BT3 lies east of the city centre and is home to the Belfast Harbour Estate.

        Average Property Prices in BT3

        Properties in BT3 sell for roughly £19,536.

        Average Rental Yields in BT3

        Average rental yields in this area are 8.1%, making it the best place in Belfast for yields.

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        BT4

        Belfast BT4 includes Belmont, Sydenham and Stormont.

        Average Property Prices in BT4

        Average property prices in this area are £205,513.

        Average Rental Yields in BT4

        Average rental yields in this area are 5.1%.

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          BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 28, 2017: Sunset over Titanic Belfast - museum, touristic attraction and monument to Belfast's maritime heritage on the site of the former Harland and Wolff shipyard.

          BT5

          Belfast BT5 includes Ballyhackamore and Braniel, Knock, Castlereagh, Clarawood, Crossnacrevy, and Gilnahirk. Ballyhackamore was named one of the city’s best residential areas by The Sunday Times.

          Average Property Prices in BT5

          Property prices fluctuate in this area. Investors can expect to pay around £196,926.

          Average Rental Yields in BT5

          Rental yields in BT5 reach a 5.4% average.

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          Why You Should Consider a Buy-to-Let Investment in Belfast

          Belfast is the largest city in Northern Ireland. It is also the capital. The city has a population of roughly 343,000. Greater Belfast has an estimated population of 570,000.

          Here are some key reasons why Belfast is good for property investors.

          Industry

          Belfast used to be a central industrial hub for shipbuilding and linen manufacturing. In fact, the city’s shipyards were the birthplace of the RMS Titanic. The famous Samson and Goliath cranes are an integral part of the Belfast skyline.

          Nowadays, Belfast’s economy is propelled by the following industries:

          • Advanced engineering
          • Creative and digital
          • Financial and professional
          • Hospitality and tourism
          • Life and health sciences
          • Technology

          In addition, Belfast Harbour stands at the country’s foremost maritime gateway. This industry serves both the Northern and Southern Irish economies.

          While the Troubles affected the economy in the past, the city now benefits from incredible growth. This continues to enhance the property sector.

          Excellent Transport Links

          Belfast boasts decent transport links to the rest of the country and Europe. For instance, three motorways connect the city to other Northern Irish areas.

          The Translink railways allow easy travel to Londonderry, Bangor, Newry and other places. Meanwhile, the Enterprise links Belfast to Dublin.

          The George Best City Airport is near the city centre, while Belfast International Airport is also in the area.

          The city also connects to Cairnryan, the Isle of Man and Birkenhead via a ferry service.

          Regeneration

          Belfast has undergone many regeneration developments in the last twenty years. This effort has bolstered its economic – and buy-to-let – eligibility.

          Some of these developments include:

          • Victoria Square
          • The Titanic Quarter
          • The Laganside
          • The Cathedral Quarter

          Tourism

          Tourism has become an important part of the Belfast economy. Many tourists use the city as a base to go to other parts of the city. As such, an Airbnb investment property could be a lucrative property type to take advantage of this market.

          Belfast welcomes an estimated 9.5 million tourists every year, who spend over £417 million. This sector has created 22,000 jobs in the city.

          Top tourist attractions include:

          • The Titanic Belfast
          • The Titanic Slipways,
          • Belfast Zoo
          • The Botanic Gardens
          • Belfast Castle
          • Crumlin Road Gaol
          • The Ulster Museum
          • The Stormont Estate
          • The Linen Quarter

          Students

          Belfast has a considerable student demographic. Over 50,000 students go to Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University.

          Want to take a chance on a student rental property?

          Check out the following areas:

          • Lisburn Road,
          • Ormeau Road,
          • The Holyland,
          • Botanic Avenue,
          • Stranmillis Road.

          These areas are popular with students due to their proximity to campuses.

          Foreign Investment in the UK 2023/24

          Based overseas? This is the perfect guide for property investors looking to buy property in the UK.

          Download Guide

          Off-Plan vs Completed Property

          The ultimate guide to help you choose whether to invest in off plan or completed property in 2024.

          Download Guide
          modern apartment building in city. front exterior of newly built apartment block with balconies. city living in the UK

          Belfast New-Builds

          With demand continuing to outpace supply, newly built developments have quickly gained popularity within the UK buy-to-let market. 

          Outfitted with the latest facilities and amenities, new-builds require almost zero upkeep before people can move in. This typically results in higher levels of demand from tenants and a faster return on investment for landlords.

          New-build developments can also assist in boosting the local population and local economy. In late 2023, Belfast City Council began its search for a long-term development partner to help deliver over half a billion pounds worth of multi-site, mixed-use residential developments across the city. Alongside this, continued investment in the waterfront area and sustainable travel and tourism infrastructure is anticipated to boost population numbers and the local property market further.

          As the market fluctuates and trends shift, investing in new-build properties like these could lead to a lucrative opportunity for buy-to-let investors.

          Read More: Discover more about this investment trend with our recent buy-to-let guides, covering everything from new-builds in Huddersfield to the latest UK hotspots!

           

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          Off-Plan Property in Belfast

          As mentioned, there is a growing hunger within the property market for newly built developments.

          However, compared to older residential properties, they often are expensive investments. 

          One way to mitigate these costs is through off-plan investment, which allows buyers to purchase a property in the early stages of construction at a price discounted from the standard market rate.

          By getting involved early, off-plan investors can also potentially see higher levels of capital appreciation in the long run, as well as the strong tenant demand usually seen with newly built properties.

          The most desirable off-plan investments are likely found in large cities with significant levels of regeneration and solid infrastructure.

          There could be solid off-plan opportunities available in Beflast, but investors may be able to find higher levels of affordability and capital growth in the North West (such as Liverpool and Manchester). 

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            How Does Belfast Compare to Other UK Regions When It Comes to Buy-to-Let?

            So, is buy-to-let worth it in Belfast?

            As mentioned, Belfast has an average house price that is almost £100,000 less than the UK average. This is fantastic for a capital city.

            However, if you’re looking for an economic hotspot with great potential yields, you may want to turn your attention to Liverpool.

            Like Belfast, Liverpool serves as a maritime gateway and an industry hub that attracts plenty of tourists each year. Zoopla puts the average Liverpool property price at £156,300. This is nearly £12,000 cheaper than its Irish counterpart.

            Liverpool buy-to-let properties typically offer better yields (average 7.76%) and superior transport links to the rest of the UK. If you’re looking to enjoy capital appreciation in the property market, the North West offers some of the best buy options on the market.

            So don’t rush into buy-to-let mortgages for a Belfast property just yet. You may find a better ROI somewhere else in the UK.

            Delve Deeper into The UK Rental Market: Check out our recent insights into investment property available in Lincoln!

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              Want to Invest in Belfast?

              Belfast is an attractive prospect for many property investors. The city boasts varying house prices and rental yields.

              However, if you want to prioritise capital appreciation, then investors could potentially see more substantial results from cities like Liverpool and Manchester.

              Want to stay up to date with the rest of the UK market? Take a look at some of our recent buy-to-let guides below:

              Map of Belfast

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              Author

              Dale Barham

              Dale is a property content writer at RWinvest. Keeping a close eye on the UK property market, Dale helps our readers stay informed and up to date on the latest market news and statistics.

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