05/09/2005

NI houses prices continue to rise

Northern Ireland's house prices are continuing to rise, unlike the rest of the UK, the latest University of Ulster Quarterly House Price Index has revealed.

The Index, produced in partnership with Bank of Ireland and supported by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, revealed that the annual rate of growth in house prices in the second quarter of 2005 was 16.8%.

The survey for the quarter from April to June 2005 also showed that the overall average price of property reached a new high of £131,529, continuing the strong quarterly pattern of growth over the year - the detached house sector is the market leader with an overall average price of £203,038 representing price growth of 22% over the year.

Commenting on the report, authors Professor Alastair Adair, Professor Stanley McGreal and Louise Brown of the University of Ulster, said: “The survey’s key finding is the continuing high rate of annual increase in the local property market.

"This contrasts with trends elsewhere in the UK, where the rate of price growth is significantly below that experienced in Northern Ireland.”

Bank of Ireland’s Head of Research in Northern Ireland, economist Alan Bridle, said: “At the beginning of 2005 we forecast high single digit house price inflation this year but with the market exceeding expectations in the first 6 months, this now looks on the low side and subject to an upward revision as the short-term outlook looks optimistic.”

For semi-detached houses, with an average price of £118,434, the annual rate of increase at 12.5% is virtually unchanged from the previous survey and suggests a steady consistent performance compared to the more volatile terraced house market.

In Belfast the overall average price of £130,567 has increased over the year with an annual rate of growth of 16.5%.

(MB/SP)

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