Full Report

Northern Ireland Quarterly House Price Index for Q3 2014

This survey analyses the performance of the Northern Ireland housing market during the third quarter of 2014, the months of July, August and September. The report is concerned with trends and spatial patterns in the housing market drawing comparisons with the third quarter of 2013, as a measure of annual change, and with the second quarter of 2014, as an indicator of quarterly change.
The price statistics are based on market evidence from a sample of 1,952 sales which is narrowly below, but highly consistent with, the sample in quarter two (1,997) indicating that the recovery in the volume of transactions is being sustained and leading to a more vibrant and healthy market in Northern Ireland.


Housing Executive    University of Ulster    

A market best reviewed in segments

Alan Bridle

Alan Bridle
Head of Research
Bank of Ireland
Northern Ireland

November 2014

Our latest review of the local residential market continues to make positive reading with transactions remaining at the more normalised levels reported in Q2 while average prices have increased on both the quarterly and annual comparisons. While the short-term performance has been more variable, it is encouraging to report that all property types and all eleven regions have seen some rise in average price relative to Q3 2013, all of which suggests a market that has some forward momentum.
As a general observation, Greater Belfast continues to lead the recovery although with one or two caveats. The average price of a property in the West of the City dipped significantly in Q3 relative both to Q2 and Q3 2013, perhaps a reflection of the mix of sales in the last 3 months with proportionately more lower priced terraced/townhouses changing hands. By contrast, the Coleraine/Limavady/North Coast market appears to have enjoyed better times in the last 12 months with average prices up over 20%, consolidating the stronger performance in Q2.
A noteworthy development in the latest survey is the significantly reduced volume of new-build sales relative to Q2, both in absolute terms and as a share of the sample (slipping to 10% of the total market). This may indicate that supply-side constraints on new housing stock are beginning to have a more tangible impact on the market.
Looking ahead, while recent market trends are likely to continue into 2015, it would not be a surprise if economic and political uncertainties at both a UK and regional level have some impact on the general housing climate. The UK is entering a period of heightened political and constitutional upheaval post the Scottish referendum outcome with financial markets and growth prospects sensitive to perceptions of growing political risk.

Alan Bridle 
Head of Economics & Research 
Bank of Ireland Northern Ireland 

Performance by Property Type

Reflecting the overall picture, all property types in this survey show an increase in average sale price over the year, though quarterly performance is more variable.
Annual performance provides a snapshot comparing the current average price with corresponding statistics for the third quarter of 2013. Over the year, all property types show a significant increase in average sale price suggesting that the recovery in the market has been broadly based with impact across all property types. The strongest performance has been in the detached sectors with detached houses (£229,670) up by 4.6% over the year and detached bungalows (£154,064) up by 9.1% - the latter were also the market leader in terms of price growth in the previous survey.

Annual % change and average price

Market SectorAnnual ChangeAverage Price Quarter 3 2014 
Terraced/townhouse 3.5% £85,818  
Semi-detached house 4.6% £123,494  
Detached house 4.6% £229,670  
Semi-detached bungalow 4.6% £108,515  
Detached bungalow 9.1% £154,064  
Apartment 8.6% £103,408

Performance by Region

At the regional level, trends are again highly variable. For certain regions, prices and variability of price trends are a function of the previous constrained evidence base.

LocationAverage Price Quarter 2 
Northern Ireland - All £141,173  
Reflecting the overall trend apparent at the Northern Ireland level, the Belfast market has again performed strongly during the third quarter of 2014 with significant increases in average sale price. The overall average price (£154,326) is up by 9% over the year, and by 6% compared to the second quarter, making Belfast one of the best performing markets. These trends are also apparent across the different sectors. Annually all property types, except for detached bungalows, show price growth with terraced/townhouses (£95,631) up by 10.6%, semi-detached houses (£152,651) by 7.6%, detached houses (£286,339) by 4.3% and apartments (£103,451) by 4.1%.
Belfast - All £154,326  
North Belfast £105,087  
South Belfast £192,294  
East Belfast £173,140  
West Belfast £87,622  
Belfast Metropolitan Area 
Within the commuter zone of the Belfast Metropolitan Area a similar picture to the previous survey prevails, the three local markets are characterised by considerable variation in performance with property prices increasing in North Down but generally lower in Lisburn and East Antrim.
For North Down, the overall average price (£204,175) is up substantially over both the annual and quarterly time periods with 17.1% and 4.7% the respective rates of increase.
For Lisburn, the overall average price of £124,379 indicates a further decline in price levels in the local market.
In East Antrim, the overall average price is significantly lower over the year, down by 19.7% to £100,722. Prices by property type reflect the weaker market conditions.

Within the commuter zone of the Belfast Metropolitan Area, the three local markets continue to display contrasting positions.

For North Down, the overall average price (£182,164) is up 17% over the year, building upon the strong performance in the second quarter.

For Lisburn, the overall average price (£185,777) is also substantially higher over the year by 7.2%.

In East Antrim, the overall average price (£128,695) has increased by 21.6% over the year, building upon the recovery in the market apparent in the second quarter. In this context, several property types show sharp price gains over the year with the average price of detached houses (£210,114) up by 17.4% over the year.

North Down £182,164  
Lisburn £185,777  
East Antrim £128,695  

North and North West 
The overall picture in the North and North West of Northern Ireland is increasingly positive with all three market areas showing significant rates of price growth.

For Antrim/Ballymena the overall average price (£117,415) is up over the year by 4.1%.

The Coleraine/Limavady/North Coast market has seen another strong performance with the overall average price (£140,562) up by 22.3% over the year reinforcing the picture in the previous survey.

In the Derry/Strabane market, the overall average price (£112,197) has again increased with a 5.5% rate of growth over the year and a higher quarterl increase of 8.6%.

L'derry / Strabane £112,197  
Antrim / Ballymena £117,415  
Coleraine / Limavady / N. Coast £140,562  

The two markets in the West of Northern Ireland both demonstrate modest rates of house price growth.

In Mid Ulster, the average price (£112,593) is up very slightly over the year by 1% and virtually unchanged over the quarter suggesting a consolidation of price levels following the increase apparent in the second quarter of the year.

The Enniskillen/Fermanagh/South Tyrone market for this quarter has an average price of £128,717 representing both an annual and quarterly rate of price increase of 4.6%.

Enniskillen / Fermanagh / S. Tyrone £128,717  
Mid Ulster £112,593  

In the South of Northern Ireland, the two market areas again are characterised by differing pricing structures and trends.

For Craigavon/Armagh, the overall average price (£100,566) has increased, up by 5% over the year and by 5.7% for the quarter suggesting a stronger performance over the third quarter of the year.

In Mid & South Down a very strong picture was apparent in the previous survey, however the current position suggests some falling off in average prices with the overall average sale price (£130,817) down by 7.1% over the quarter and only slightly up over the year (0.8%).

Mid & South Down £130,817  
Craigavon / Armagh £100,566

Average House Price by Region

The long-term house price index is calculated relative to price levels for each property type at the base quarter for the survey, the final quarter of 1984. The overall index at 501.86 has risen slightly for this survey reflecting the respective annual and quarterly changes in average prices across the property types.

The pattern of the house price index since its rapid fall during 2008-2010 has been one of uneven performance though generally trending downwards. This survey suggests that the recent upward trajectory is continuing.

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