Northern Ireland house prices increase 2% but the market remains patchy and uneven
17th November 2009
House prices in Northern Ireland have risen by more than 2% in the last quarter — raising hopes that the property crash has run its course.
The latest figures from the University of Ulster House Price Survey released yesterday put the average property price here at £164,017 during the third quarter of this year. This is a far cry from the heady days of the 2006/07 boom when the average house price here rocketed to £250,000.
And although the most recent figure is up 2.1% from £158,886 in the second quarter, housing experts have claimed any talk of dramatic house price growth is premature with house sales still sluggish.
The optimism of surveys earlier this year appears to have dissipated with some parts of the province experiencing falling property prices over the quarter.
Coleraine/Limavady/North Coast saw values drop by 8.9% compared to the second quarter with a similar story in Derry/Strabane down 6.6%, Enniskillen/Fermanagh/South Tyrone a drop of 8.6% and Mid and South Down having a 5.5% decline.
Report authors professors Alastair Adair, Stanley McGreal, Louise Brown and David McIlhatton, said: “The recovery in the housing market is still piecemeal.”
The housing experts added, however: “Positive signs are the declining rates of annual price decrease across the different sectors of the market and an overall weighted increase over the last quarter of 2.1%.”
Affordability is improving with 20% of houses sold at or below £100,000, with nine out of 10 properties selling at or below £250,000. The most expensive part of Northern Ireland to live in is South Belfast, with an average price of £223,145.
Economist Alan Bridle of Bank of Ireland Northern Ireland said: “The overall climate for housing remains challenging. There is little substantive evidence as yet of a real breakthrough in the number of first-time buyers entering the market.”.
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