Property developer tempts buyers with free car

Solicitors in Northern Ireland will have noticed a big drop in the number of people buying property in the province, and it appears that property developers are feeling the squeeze so much that one is giving away a brand new car to buyers.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, property developer Nicholas Lestas is offering a £5,000 Ford Ka to buyers of one of three houses on sale.

Two three-bedroom townhouses in Ahoghill, Co Antrim, both with pricetags over £215,000 and a three-bedroom flat in Coleraine with an asking price close to £255,000 are subject to the deal.

Mr Lestas argued that the free car offer was a good long-term investment for first-time buyers who would already have to deal with mortgage instalments.

"The issue for first-time buyers is ongoing monthly repayments. With a new car there shouldn't be any maintenance costs and you'll get a few years' driving before it needs any work," Mr Lestas explained in the Belfast newspaper.

"The second expense outside a property is a car loan which could add up to £300 to £400 a month, or the maintenance of a car which can also be costly. I felt this was an opportunity for someone to have their second biggest monthly payment wiped clean."

Despite the fact that a number of developers in Belfast and Northern Ireland have been offering incentives for people to buy, Mr Lestas insisted his offer was not a knee-jerk reaction to the dropping off of buyers.

"In my view things will have levelled out here by spring," he said. "I am not worried about the market. I totally expected it - I'm surprised it didn't come sooner."

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