Activity still high in NI housing market

House prices are still on the rise in Northern Ireland, according to the latest edition of the Northern Ireland Housing Bulletin, which shows a rise of 3.4% for the first quarter of 2002.

The Bulletin, compiled by the Statistics and Research Branch of the Department for Social Development, covers the period from January 1 to March 31, and refers only to new homes registered by the National House-Building Council (NHBC).

The report found that the average selling price of new houses was £92,000 - representing an increase of £3,000 (or 3.4%) on the previous quarter and an increase of £3,000 (3.4%) on the same quarter in 2001. The average selling price of new houses ranged from £57,500 in Derry District Council to £139,800 in North Down District Council (provisional figures).

However, the selling price of flats and maisonettes fell by 13.8% during the same period, the Bulletin claims, with the average selling price standing at £94,000, £15,000 lower than the preceding quarter, and £5,000 (5.1%) lower than the quarter ending March 2001.

Statistics released by the NHBC have shown that UK applications to build new homes increased by 26% in May 2002 when compared with figures for the same period a year earlier.

Newry & Mourne was the district council area with the greatest number of new housing starts (386), representing an increase of 50.2% on the same period last year.


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