House building on the increase in Northern Ireland

House-building activity in Northern Ireland has increased by ten per cent during the third quarter of 2002, according to the latest figures from the National House-Building Council (NHBC).

NHBC figures for the province have revealed that a total of 2,397 applications were made to start new homes during the three-month period, an increase of 10% on the same time in 2001.

The average anticipated selling price of new homes (that are registered with NHBC) rose by 4% to £203,000, while the proportion of homes sold for over £100,000 was 42%, representing a significant increase on the 31% that were sold during the same period last year.

However, the NHBC first time buyers' ability to buy index decreased by six points during the quarter, and now rests at 105. The index is based on a formula which takes into account the average cost of homes bought by first time buyers, average income and mortgage interest rates (from the Nationwide Building Society) – the higher the index, the greater the ability to buy.

NHBC statistics are based on information relating to its 18,000 registered house buildings, who construct around 85% of the new homes built in the UK.


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