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Average house price in Northern Ireland grows 3% to £141,130

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Northern Ireland’s average house price has grown 3% year on year to around £141,130, according to the latest government report.

Prices have also grown by 0.3% quarter-on-quarter with the highest prices in Lisburn and Castlereagh at £170,500 and lowest in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon at £124,693.

The report from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency said there had been 1,652 homes sold during April to June - around one third of those recorded over the same period a year earlier.

And the most robust growth year on year was in Antrim and Newtownabbey, with a 5.6% rise - while the weakest was in Mid-Ulster at 0.1%.

And on a quarter-on-quarter basis, five council areas reported a fall in prices.

The housing market in Northern Ireland was paused between March and June due to lockdown. However, some transactions did take place - which Nisra said were enough to represent the state of play in the market.

Thomas O’Doherty, a partner at estate agency Simon Brien, said it had seen strong demand across its four branches in Belfast, Holywood and Newtownards.

Factors included the short-term waiving of stamp duty on properties of up to £500,000, he said.

Mr O’Doherty said: “Since the property market opened in June, we have seen sustained demand and some of our busiest weeks on record.

“With pent up-demand, change of preferences and the stamp duty holiday, buyers across all sectors in the property market are moving.

“It is also encouraging to note that demand has been across all price bands from the first time buyer market to upper end of the of the market. In addition, the demand is across all of Northern Ireland from city homes to rural towns and country homes. Demand has also increased for new homes for those seeking energy efficient, turn key new homes.

“From needing a home office to wanting a house with a garden, we have seen buyers more decisive and focussed on their preferences following the lockdown. There has also been a large increase in people returning from England, and further afield, to Northern Ireland due to the better work life balance and more affordable cost of living.”

He said he believed that while demand could ease off in the next few months, the market would remain at sustainable and affordable levels.

UK-wide, property values hit a new peak of £238,000 in June, which was £8,000 higher than in June 2019, the Office for National Stastics said said.

Annual price growth accelerated to 3.4% in June, up from 1.1% in May, the ONS said.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, UK house prices increased by 2.4% between May and June, following a decrease of 0.1% the previous month.

Average house prices increased over the year in England to £254,000 (a 3.5% annual increase), in Wales to £168,000 (2.8%), in Scotland to £157,000 (2.9%) and in Northern Ireland to £141,000 (3.0%).

Belfast Telegraph