Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland house prices buck UK trend with a fall of 10.3%

House prices in Northern Ireland have dropped by 10.3% in the past year — with the average property now sitting at £132,000.

That’s according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which has found a north/south divide across the UK.

Its survey showed that prices have risen in England and Wales over the last year but have fallen in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Overall across the UK, house prices increased by 2.3% in the 12 months to May, reaching £228,000 on average.

ONS said a patchy market remained in evidence as prices slumped in Northern Ireland by 10.3% year-on-year to reach £132,000, and dipped by 1% in Scotland to average £177,000.

It put the recent trend of sharp decline here down to an on-going ‘normalisation’ of the market following the property boom.

Wales recorded the biggest year-on-year increase of the UK countries, with a 3.5% rise to reach £154,000, while there was a 2.6% rise across England, where typical sales stood at £237,000.

ONS stressed that if London and the South East were stripped from the overall UK figures, the typical price would be £183,000.

Beneath the surface, much of the increase was driven by a 7.2% rise in London — the biggest rise seen by the capital since November 2010.

Analysts said ultimately prices in the south of the UK are likely to be dragged down as well as those in the north as the economy remains weak.

Ed Stansfield, chief property economist at Capital Economics, said that as well as levels of buyer demand having a strong bearing on the housing market, prices in the north have fared comparatively badly recently as they had previously risen too far relative to prices in the south.

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