Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year from ABC!

We'll be back to work on Tuesday, 3rd December 2012.

The ABC Team.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

NI Water and ABC Estate Agents say 'Dont Wait, Insulate'

David Russell & Arleen Barton from ABC Estate Agents of Glengormley, present Santa with a Gift Tag he won’t want to throw away this Christmas; NI Water’s stop valve tags are available free of charge by calling Waterline on 08457 440088.

With Christmas approaching, it is easy to get caught up in all the excitement involved in preparations for the holiday season. However, the most important preparation is protecting your property against the winter weather.

NI Water is keen to provide advice and information to customers on how to protect their property and help them identify the pipework they are responsible for.

Charlie Gallagher, Head of Water Supply at NI Water explained:

“Last year we saw numerous vacant properties with burst pipes draining the system.

“In January 2011 a single burst pipe in a vacant business property lost over 30 million litres of water; enough water to:

Supply a family of 4 for 137 years
Fill 15 million kettles
Make 120 million cups of tea
You could have 375,000 baths
You could have 850,000 showers
Flush a toilet nearly 3,000,000 times

“NI Water learnt some important lessons from last year’s bitterly cold winter, and has spent time upgrading communications systems including the website and Waterline facilities. However, we cannot do it on our own. We all have a role to play to reduce the risk of disruption to water supplies. Simple measures such as lagging pipes, knowing where your stop valve is and having the number of a plumber to hand can all make a huge difference.”

Graham Barton, Principal of ABC Estate Agents in Glengormley comments:

“We are impressed by NI Water’s campaign this year and are happy to support the message of being prepared. We would urge all property owners who are leaving their premises empty over the holiday period to ensure the pipes within the property are properly insulated. It is also worth while considering turning off the water supply if it is not being used in this time. Isolating supply to the property will remove the risk of a burst pipe and flood damage.”

NI Water has produced a handy stop valve tag to encourage customers to locate their valve in the event of a burst pipe. Customers can obtain a free tag by phoning our Waterline number on 08457 440088, emailing or contacting us through Facebook.

We also have a Customer Care Register which is designed to meet the needs of those requiring extra help or support from the organisation. Joining is simple, customers can phone the Waterline number or obtain further information by visiting

NI Water’s top tips for avoiding frozen pipes include:

  1. Insulate water tanks and pipes in unheated areas like lofts, garages and outbuildings; 
  2. Fix dripping taps – a gentle trickle of water can freeze and completely block the pipe; 
  3. Keep your boiler well serviced to ensure your house is heated; 
  4. If you are away from home during the winter period, open the trap door into the roof space to allow some of the warm air to circulate; 
  5. If you are away from home you could leave a key with someone who can check the house regularly 
  6. Know where your stop valve is in the case of an emergency - it is normally situated under the kitchen sink; 
  7. DO NOT run your tap to avoid a frozen pipe, a running tap can waste up to 3,000 gallons of water per day; 
  8. Write down the contact details of a registered plumber in case a pipe does burst. 


  • All media enquiries to NI Water Press Office on 028 9035 4710 or email
  • There is advice and assistance available to householders to help them make their homes warmer. To find out more about what grants may be available, you can speak to an energy advisor at the Energy Saving Trust on 0800 512012.
  • The Department for Social Development’s Warm Homes scheme is available for people who receive certain benefits and own or rent their home from a private landlord. Further information is available online at or on 0800 988 0559
  • ABC is one of the oldest agents in the area, having been established in 1978. It deals with Residential Sales and Valuations and specialises in Lettings Management, being the first agent in Glengormley so to do. 
  • For information on the ABC Estate Agents please visit or telephone 028 9083 2326.

Monday, 19 December 2011


Merry Christmas & a Happy and Prosperous New Year
from all of us here at A Barton Company: Estate Agents & Rental Centre.

Saturday, 17 December 2011


Two out of five properties for sale in the UK have been slashed in price in a bid to encourage buyers, recent research has shown.

40% of properties have been reduced in price at least once, showing the shifting nature of seller expectations over the last year. With confidence reduced in the wake of the Eurozone crisis and high unemployment, sellers are becoming more realistic about their homes’ value.

The average price drop stands at 7.4%, a significant increase from 6.1% in November last year.

Discounts have reached a new high of £19,500, revealed, and many forecast that a multitude of sellers will need to further reduce their asking prices before they can move home.

House Prices Slashed Again! - Mortgage Rates

Thursday, 15 December 2011


The latest RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) and Ulster Bank Housing Market Survey has highlighted the impact of the Eurozone crisis on Northern Ireland property sales.

It revealed that NI house prices have continued falling in November, with 46% of surveyors reporting a price decrease over the month. It concluded that the peak prices of 2007 have ‘disappeared for a generation’.

In spite of this news, transactions appear to have increased. Tom McClelland, RICS Northern Ireland spokesman, stated ‘There is strong evidence that where homes are priced correctly to reflect 2011 sentiment and the ability of buyers in the market, sales are being achieved.’

There is positive market activity with properties priced below £120,000, but above that the market continues to struggle.

Peak house prices 'have gone for a generation' in Northern Ireland - Belfast Telegraph

Saturday, 10 December 2011


Citylets, an online lettings company, has said that renting in Belfast has become a ‘lifestyle choice’.

Strong prices in the city, with private landlords earning an average £590 per month for the year to the end of September, indicates a growing trend towards stable, long-term letting. The most recent quality report from Citylets revealed that rent for two-bedroom houses rose by 1.5% to £451 per month to the end of September.

The stagnation of the local property market has helped prop up Belfast’s rental prices. ‘In Belfast, as in many parts of the UK and Ireland,’ said Citylets analyst Dan Cookson, ‘renting is no longer a temporary solution for one particular generation’.

Renting now a 'lifestyle choice' - Belfast Telegraph

Thursday, 8 December 2011


The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has forecast that activity in the housing market will recover from its period of stagnation with an upsurge in 2013.

Predictions are that in 2013-14, there will be a 20% increase in transactions compared with 2012-13. These forecasts, which came as part of the chancellor’s Autumn Statement, concluded that the price of houses would increase at levels above inflation from the same year, achieving annual growth of 4.5% in 2015-16.

Decreased mortgage lending, employment worries and unwillingness to reduce asking prices have all contributed to comparatively low sales levels. Figures from the Bank of England, which revealed that mortgage debit was reduced by £9.1bn in the second quarter of the year, are further evidence of a property market ‘treading water’.

OBR has suggested that in 2011-12, transactions would fall by 3%, followed by a 1.5% rise in the next year, then a 20.7% surge in 2013-14.

Housing market to pick-up in 2013, says OBR - BBC News

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Mayor has the “Key” to a Merry Christmas!

Alderman Billy Webb, the Mayor of the Newtownabbey, with Arleen Barton and  Graham Barton from ABC Estate Agents at the opening of their Christmas Decorations.

A Barton Company (ABC) Estate Agents was pleased to welcome the Mayor of Newtownabbey, Alderman Billy Webb, to their business today as he continued his tour of local businesses.

ABC Estate Agents, which is based in the centre of Glengormley, has been offering estate agency and letting services in the local area for over 30 years. Some services provided include a no-sale, no-fee service to vendors looking to sell their properties and a no-let, no-fee management service to landlords, large and small.

The Mayor officially opened ABC’s Christmas display commenting:
“This display is one of the most impressive in the Village and is always warmly received by the local community.”
In addition to opening the seasonal display the Mayor also took the opportunity to discuss matters of concern to ABC and to the wider business community in Glengormley, and Newtownabbey. Issues discussed included: praise for the efforts of the Council to try and improve standards of training and networking throughout the Borough, the recognition of issues of concern, particularly in the Village, including anti-social behaviour and lack of parking for the customers of local businesses.
Principal Agent, Mrs Arleen Barton commented:
“Being an independent, family owned and run agency has its advantages. Since our establishment in 1978 we have survived through several property recessions previous to this one. We are committed to treating every tenant and landlords home like our own. This has proven itself over time.It was wonderful to see the Mayor of Newtownabbey visit ABC today and do us the honour of switching on our Christmas lights. It is great to see him being proactive in providing his support, and that of Council, to local businesses in Newtownabbey this Christmas.Like Father Christmas he popped into share some Christmas cheer and was greeted with some festive treats.”
The Mayor was delighted to see another excellent example of a local business tailoring their business product to suit the current marketplace by providing additional services to attract and retain customers including property management and maintenance for landlords.

Speaking about the visit, the Mayor stated:
“In the current property climate it is wonderful to visit this thriving long established family run enterprise committed to providing excellent services to their customers.”
The Mayor will be continuing with his visits to small businesses over the next few months, if you would like to host a Mayoral visit or for information on the Council’s economic development activities please phone Michelle Pearson on 028 9034 0018 or email

For information on the ABC Estate Agents please visit or telephone 028 9083 2326.



  • ABC is one of the most established agents in the area, having been established in 1978. It deals with Residential Sales and Valuations and specialises in Lettings Management, being the first agent in Glengormley so to do.

Friday, 2 December 2011


Despite an increase in the number of rental properties available in the UK, ever-rising demand has seen houses being let more quickly than ever before.

A leading lettings agent has found that UK tenants have been devouring properties within 12.7 days of becoming available. In 2010, that figure was 13.5 days. The fierce competition for rental property has seen an average of 5 tenants vying for each house, in addition to a record rise in rental prices.

‘Trends in Letting’, a recent report from the Bank of England, showed a similar spike in buy-to-let mortgages, with ambitious investors hoping to capitalise on the current market. The largest portion of tenants have been found to be couples under 35, seeking one and two bedroom properties, which consequently stay on the market for only a short time.

Many prospective tenants who are aware of the ‘rental race’ have even gone as far as setting up SMS and email alerts with their local letting agents to find our right away when properties become available.

UK Rental Market Soars to All-Time High - Select Property