Belfast Telegraph

Belfast house prices fall 0.9% in wake of Brexit poll


By John Mulgrew

A fall in the average cost of a home in Belfast to around £117,900 has been blamed on the vote for Brexit and a change in stamp duty levels. The average cost of a house in the city dropped by 0.9% in the past three months, according to official figures.

While prices rose across Northern Ireland by 0.8% between quarter two and quarter three this year, some areas saw declines or no change.

Overall, prices have shot up by an average of 5.4% across Northern Ireland over the past 12 months, according to the latest official statistics.

Some 5,200 homes were sold in the third quarter of the year.

Prices in Belfast dropped by 0.9% - down to an average of £117,897. Prices also fell by 0.9% in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon, down to £109,654.

The average cost of a home rose at its fastest rate in Mid-Ulster and in Newry, Mourne and Down. Mid-Ulster saw prices rise by 3.6% in the space of just three months - increasing to £123,102 - while the latter saw costs increase by 3.9% to £129,142.

Richard McCulloch of McCulloch Estate Agents, which has branches in Belfast and Magherafelt, said he was not surprised at the 0.9% fall in Belfast.

He also claimed that the 3% increase in stamp duty on second homes, along with uncertainty following the EU referendum, was to blame.

"I see a lack of confidence out there following the Brexit vote, and that's going to continue for six to nine months until we see more of the plans that should be in place for carrying out Brexit," Mr McCulloch said.

"Transactions are low because investors are staying out of the market, and that's why prices have fallen."

He also claimed investors had typically bought properties in the £70,000 to £80,000 end of the market, and with stamp duty up, they were staying away.

Mr McCulloch added he was not surprised at the increases in other parts of Northern Ireland.

"Generally, Belfast leads the way in increases, so these other places are catching up," he said.

Meanwhile, almost 40 new homes are being built in Co Antrim as part of a new £5.2m social housing project.

The development in Ballyclare will provide 39 new homes for older people and space for a social enterprise when it is completed in August 2018.

A new £1.75m housing scheme in Coleraine has also been completed.

Drop in average price of a house in Belfast over the past three months. The fall has been blamed on an increase on second home stamp duty and uncertainty over Brexit

Belfast Telegraph