New Look Northern Ireland
There is no doubt about it, Northern Ireland is riding high. A quick look at the headlines makes for unusually optimistic reading with stories of success and celebration replacing the standard doom and gloom. Job creation, property market improvement, unseasonably warm weather and even sporting success! So what has changed over night?
In reality it has been a gradual movement towards a new look Northern Ireland but it does seem like everything is taking off at once. Lets look at the stepping stones and how we have got to this point.
Recession must have been the most used word of 2012-2014 but we are thankfully seeing it less and less these days. Instead it has been replaced with ‘improvement’ and ‘growth’ and we are finally seeing some positive figures. The growth has admittedly been minimal and to be honest the economy had nowhere to go but up but it is still encouraging to see things moving in the right direction.
The Northern Irish economy has grown by 1.2% compared to last year with growth being driven by manufacturing and service industries and the labour market is continuing its improvement with the number of job seekers down 9,400 over the last year and quarterly unemployment figures at 6.1%, down 0.5% from June to August 2014.
Another term associated with the recession was the property boom/property bust. In 2007 housing prices rose by 55.9% in the space of a year before falling 23% in June 2009. Construction output is still falling but housing prices are up 4.9% and have risen more than in any other UK region in the last month. Experts say that Northern Ireland’s public finances may affect long term growth in the sector but again it is good things improving.
Something which should not be affected by recessions or downturns in the economy but invariably is is sport. Maybe our sports stars pick up the vibe from fans when going through periods of difficulty but whether coincidence or not it can’t be denied that our boys are doing the business at the moment. Rory McElroy is back to winning ways, Ulster rugby is going from strength to strength and last nights 3-0 victory over Greece, making it three successive group wins in a row, reflected the momentum of the country.
Belfast in particular has been a shining light with continued growth and a real buzz growing around the city. In a recent article Belfast was voted the 2nd best UK city to live in 2014 with a growing social scene around the Cathedral Quarter and the continued development of the city. The successful hosting of the Giro d’italia this year showcased the cities ability to organise large scale international competitions and we are seeing more and more events taking place here.
In property news MKB Law’s property and licensing team were recently involved in a deal to convert the famous College Square East building into student accommodation and an announcement was made this week regarding more developments that are due to take place in the North of Belfast. 1,500 jobs are set to be created in an aim to transform the city into a ‘modern cafe culture urban village.’
We won’t forget how fast things can change (wounds are still fresh from interest rate swap and mortgage mis-selling) but it is nice to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. For more updates from MKB Law Solicitors Belfast, follow our social media pages below. If you would like to speak to a solicitor at MKB Law contact us:
Call: 028 9024 2450