Game of Thrones boosts Northern Ireland property market

19 July 2017

In the latest RICS residential property report, Northern Ireland scores highest in a survey of real estate professionals outlook for the future, with a net balance of +41.

With the country’s political administration in deadlock and its economy at a standstill, this is surprising news.

The answer could come from an unlikely source: the TV series Game of Thrones, filmed along the coastlines and in the glens of Northern Ireland. With many millions of viewers worldwide, the show is apparently luring fans to the country and boosting not just tourism but property sales.

“Buyers have included members of the Game of Thrones film crew,” said one Belfast agent, selling apartments in a dockyard development. “Belfast offers both strong capital growth – five per cent a year – and yields of five to six per cent.”

Tourism has boomed since the series took hold of the TV viewing imagination. A record 2.1 million visitors arrived in Northern Ireland in 2016, with revenue up by 12 per cent. “Game of Thrones has been transformative for Northern Ireland as a screen tourism destination,” said Sinead Grace of Tourism Ireland. There were 388,486 more customers at Belfast Airport in 2016 than in 2015.

Real estate agents in Mallorca report a similar effect from Love Island, shot at a villa on the island close to the town of Colonia Sant Jordi, home of the BEST Centre – Europe’s premier swim training location.