Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland house prices plunge by 11% in the past year

By Margaret Canning

Northern Ireland house prices have fallen by nearly 11% in the past year, making it the second cheapest UK region for housing, a survey by Nationwide has said.

The building society's research puts the province as the weakest area for house price growth out of 13 UK regions.

There was a 10.8% fall since this time last year, bringing the average house price in the province to £119,913 - compared to £164,751 across the UK as a whole.

Only the north of England, with an average house price of £113,863, was cheaper than the province.

Economist John Simpson said house prices in the province were now "just about back to where they should be" after the dramatic increases of 2005 to 2007.

"When prices went up - by 50% in one year - it was completely unequal to anywhere else in the UK," Mr Simpson said.

BTW Cairns director Simon Brien said many homes had "bottomed out" but there were signs of life within a half hour radius of Belfast and within the £125,000 to £175,000 new build market.

"Elsewhere in the province, any increase has been slower as those places grew the quickest," he added.

Michael Rodgers of Co Down estate agents Rodgers and Browne said the housing market had become so "over-inflated" that the continued reduction in prices was to be expected.

"The one thing we can be grateful for is that we are not in the position where interest rates are around 13 to 15%, as they were in the late 1980s and early 1990s," he said.

Wales had the next-steepest fall in prices after Northern Ireland, with prices slumping 2.6% to £133,569.

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