herald

Monday 18 December 2017

Homes market here on way up says TV expert

PROPERTY expert Phil Spencer has his eye on the housing market in Ireland with the view to potentially filming a new Location Location Location series here.

Kirstie Allsop's right-hand man said that the time was ripe to dip into the market here.

The pair first made the pilgrimage to Ireland at the height of the boom and identified that something wasn't quite right. And Phil accurately predicted that the property bubble wouldn't last much longer.

The two presenters are heading up a new series of Location Location Location and are on the lookout for new destinations.

Now Phil said that there are indications that there are opportunities in Ireland, which is something he sees as very exciting.

Phil said he thought a property programme in Ireland now was a "very tempting challenge".

"I've been monitoring the property sector in Ireland for quite some time and while it's in big trouble, I already see small signs of improvement," he said.

"I think it would be fantastic to do a series over there. I'd be well on board for that. It would be very interesting to assess the situation on Irish soil."

The man with an eagle eye for property bargains said that, although the market was skittish at the moment, there would always be movement of buyers and sellers.

"It's a difficult climate now and people are more reluctant to part with their cash," he said. "But there are always people who need to move home, that will never change."

One of the longest running on-screen partnerships in the business, Phil and Kirstie have settled into the show over several series, but in the last year made a break for separate solo ventures.

"I couldn't stay away from Kirstie for too long," Phil said.

"Ultimately, we have a lot of fun together and as long as they keep ordering more of LLL, I think we'll both stay on board."

Phil said he thought that their own style of straight-talking property show wouldn't be particularly popular with audiences.

"I thought we'd be taken off air after the first hour," Phil said.

"I thought Channel 4 were making a huge mistake when they took a gamble with myself and Kirstie, particularly me as I had no previous experience on television. But somehow, it worked.

"Long term, I'd like to stay with property as it's my background but I like the idea of a chat show," he added.

"Honestly, it'd be something I'd fancy down the line."

The new series of Location Location Location returns to Channel 4 on February 16.

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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