04/09/2006

NI house prices continue to rise

Northern Ireland house prices are continuing to rise, it has today been revealed.

The latest Quarterly House Price Survey, which has been complied by the University of Ulster, in partnership with Bank of Ireland and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, outlines how prices have continued to increase by around 25% per year, between the period of April – June 2006.

This means that the average price of a home rose by more than £31,000, a figure just above the median income of £30,000 a year per household with a mortgage in Northern Ireland.

The average house price now stands at £162,821, up 24.7% over the year and by 6.4% over the previous quarter.

Bank of Ireland’s Head of Research in Northern Ireland, economist Alan Bridle, said that growth rates here were exceptional and were expected to persist, at least for a while.

He said: “Tales of limited supply, lengthy queues for new releases and gazumping have been gaining even greater currency in recent weeks.

“To give some measure of the scale of house price rises, average prices now at nearly £163,000 have risen by almost £70,000 in just four years.”

The report also revealed that the number of houses costing below £100,000 continued to decrease rapidly, with only 16% of transactions in the survey were in the £50,000 to £100,000 bracket compared with 21% in the previous quarter.

The report also showed that all property types showed large increases compared with the same period last year.

Lisburn remained the most expensive housing region in Northern Ireland with an increase of 24.8% taking the average price of a house in the area to £194,519.

In Belfast the overall average price of £160,121 was up by almost 23%, with the highest priced location remaining South Belfast with an average of £188,149, followed by East Belfast with an overall average price of £184,500. The average price in West Belfast is £136,537, while the North Belfast average is £112,225.

In North Down, the overall average price of £173,285 represents a significant increase of almost 22% compared to the same quarter in 2005.

For the East Antrim market the overall average price of £128,838 reflected a growth of more than 25%.

In Antrim/Ballymena the overall average house price rocketed by 47.8% to £175,439, making it the highest growth region, with all property types recording significant increases.

In Coleraine, Limavady and the North Coast, the growth was almost 21% to an overall average price of £185,049, with detached properties showing the most gains.

In Derry/Strabane recent strong price growth continued, with the increase of 28.4% taking the average to £151,462.

The Mid-Ulster market average price was £177,168, up more than 30% over a year, while in Enniskillen/ Fermanagh/ South Tyrone the strong housing market continued, up almost 28% over 12 months to an average price of £181,707.

In Craigavon/Armagh the annual increase was a more modest 17.6% taking the overall average price to £148,033.

Mid & South Down markets performed strongly increasing the average home price over the year to £183,056, up more than 28%.

(EF/SP)

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