30/09/2010

House Prices Rising, But Trend Still Down

There has been conflicting evidence on local property prices - which rose 1.6% during the past three months - but was still not enough to offset previous falls.

Nationwide said of Northern Ireland "the annual rate of house price falls actually accelerated from 5.2% to 11.1%".

That meant the building society was a bit surprised as the latest figures meant NI was on one hand the best-performing region in its survey - but on the other, the trend was still falling.

Nationally, June presented a picture of broad stability with prices inching up by a seasonally adjusted 0.1% month-on-month, following a 0.5% increase in May.

The latest index from Nationwide showed a smoother quarter-on-quarter rate of change that rose marginally from 1.7% to 1.8%.
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By contrast, the annual rate of house price inflation dropped for the second consecutive month from 9.8% to 8.7%, reflective of the fact that house prices were increasing at a faster pace this time last year, it also shows.

The South West of the UK showed strongest regional growth over the quarter while London has the strongest growth overall.

Overall UK house prices increased with the annual growth rate being 9.5%, up from 8.8% recorded in the first quarter of 2010.

The index also shows that annual house price growth in Scotland picked up from 5.6% in the first quarter to 7.2%, but remained below the UK average.

Quarterly price growth in Wales was similar to the rest of the UK, with a 1.8% rise in the quarter. However, on an annual basis, Wales was the second weakest region with prices up only 4.7% year-on-year.

Northern Ireland was also the only region in its survey where housing market activity had declined in the past year.

In London, the number of house purchase loans rose 42% year-on-year, but Northern Ireland saw a 2% fall.

Nationwide said Belfast was the strongest area of Northern Ireland's housing market, with prices down 4% year-on-year.

(BMcC/GK)

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