Belfast Telegraph

Property prices 'tumble by 10%'

House prices in Northern Ireland continue to tumble, with properties falling more than 10% in value in the last year, according to the latest snapshot of the market.

The average price in the region now stands at £137,219, the University of Ulster's quarterly review found.

The 10.7% annual decline was accompanied by signs of more activity in the market. The survey of 115 estate agents recorded 960 transactions in the last quarter of 2011, compared with 684 over the same three-month period in 2010.

Only one type of residential property - semi-detached bungalows - recorded an increase in price, up by 6.7%

All other market sectors saw reduced average prices with apartments seeing the greatest decline of 23.8%; detached bungalows fell by 16.4%; detached houses dropped by 15.3%; terraced/townhouses fell by 3.4%; and semi-detached houses decreased by 2.6%.

In regard to regional variations, the highest average price was in south Belfast at £224,301 and the lowest in the north of the city at £76,927.

The UU's Quarterly House Price Index was produced in partnership with Bank of Ireland and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

Professor Alastair Adair, who wrote the report along with Professor Stanley McGreal and Dr David McIlhatton, said: "The Northern Ireland housing market has closed the year in much the same way as it started.

"Although the market is showing some tentative signs of stabilisation, it is still rather thin in terms of transaction levels with average prices tending to be lower rather than higher.

"This survey shows that recovery in the Northern Ireland housing market is still not deeply embedded and remains vulnerable to economic circumstances and to the seasonal vagaries of the market which become more apparent during periods of thin market conditions."

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