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Enveloped Dwellings tax returns must be digital from April

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From 1 April 2018, all online Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings returns must be filed using the ATED digital service. Agents and their customers should register with HMRC now to use this service from 1 April 2018 (unless they have already done so). Read More...

HCLG Select Committee hear about MHCLG's priorities

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On Monday the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee heard evidence from a number of MHCLG spokespeople about their priorities for housing. Read More...



First time buyers queue for houses

Thursday 08 February 2018

Camping chairs and blankets in hand, eager first time buyers queued through the night to snap up their future homes.

Last week, eager first time buyers took to camping out in the freezing cold in order to get their hands on a property on the new Saul Acres development on Saul Road in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland.

The new build development, which was set for release on Monday 5 February, attracted quite the crowd, and with high demand for new build properties in the area and limited availability, buyers began queuing outside Alexander Reid and Frazer at 5am on Sunday morning to secure their dream home.

But, as temperatures dropped to a freezing minus three, the agents agreed with the developer to take the names and a photo of those queuing, and suggested they go home. Staff from Alexander Reid and Frazer and Peter Fitzpatrick & Sons Estate Agents agreed to advise anyone who then arrived throughout the night that the first seven of the 10 available first phase sites had already been taken.

Despite promises from the agents to reserve the sites, the group of would-be buyers were worried about losing their spots, so settled down for a 24-hour wait - they did however agree to take refuge in their cars, to avoid the cold weather.

Alexander Reid and Frazer agent, and NAEA Regional Executive for Northern Ireland Mary-Louise Press said:

“It was a difficult situation for everyone, and we didn’t want people to be sitting outside in the cold. We did not know whether there might be a better way to launch the houses rather than having buyers queue outside, but after speaking to them, they thought this was the best way forward, and they all agreed this gave them a chance to secure the site they wanted. We opened up at 6.30am to finalise the bookings and it was smiles and coffee all-round the Monday of the release.”  

This however isn't the first time that buyers have queued to buy a new build property. Last year it was reported that a number of potential buyers queued outside agencies in and around Dublin (including Portmarnock, Stepaside, Clonskeagh and Lucan) in order to be the first to secure a home.