Belfast Telegraph

£100,000: The house price gap between south and west Belfast

By Joanne Sweeney

There's more than a £100,000 price difference between the average house sale in south Belfast and west Belfast, a new quarterly report has revealed.

Househunters can expect to pay in the region of £192,294 in the sought-after BT9 location in south Belfast, but just a few miles away in BT11, the average price drops to £87,622.

The Craigavon/Armagh area was revealed as the area outside Belfast with the lowest average house price of £100,566 in the latest University of Ulster Quarterly House Price Index in conjunction with the Bank of Ireland and NI Housing Executive.

Belfast continues to lead the improving residential property market with the average price in the city up by 9% over the year and by 6% over the second quarter.

This new quarterly index report put the average house price in Northern Ireland for July to September at £141,173, which represented a 5.2% increase on the same quarter in 2013.

The index was issued with some cautionary notes. Prof Alastair Adair, Dr John McCord, Prof Stanley McGreal and Dr David McIlhatton of Ulster University, said: "One note of caution is the slowing rate of price increase in the third quarter possibly reflecting stricter lending criteria introduced under the new regulatory regime for mortgage finance earlier this year."

The survey noted the share of the market taken by newly-built houses was just 10% compared to 18% in the second quarter.

Alan Bridle, UK economist/market analyst at Bank of Ireland UK, warned: "Looking ahead, the decline in the share of new build sales may point to a need to accelerate new housing starts to meet potential demand in some locations. There is also a risk that the current narrative of 'spending cuts' could weigh both on household confidence and the pace of the region's housing recovery."

The Housing Executive's head of research Joe Frey added: "There is no doubt house prices are moving upwards again in line with expectations, but it is important not to be complacent.

"The high levels of negative equity in Northern Ireland means that a sustained recovery is more of an uphill struggle."

Factfile

Average house price by region Q3 2014

Northern Ireland £141,173

Belfast £154,326

North Belfast £105,087

South Belfast £192,294

East Belfast £173,140

West Belfast £87,622

North Down £182,164

Lisburn £185,777

East Antrim £128,695

L'Derry/Strabane £112,197

Antrim/Ballymena £117,415

Coleraine/Limavady/North Coast £140,562

Enniskillen/Fermanagh/South Tyrone £128,717

Mid Ulster £112,593

Mid and South Down £130,817

Craigavon/Armagh £100,566

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