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Lisburn and Castlereagh tops for property investment

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Retail attractions such as Inns Market boost Lisburn & Castlereagh

Retail attractions such as Inns Market boost Lisburn & Castlereagh

Features of Lisburn & Castlereagh include new housing such as Magheralave Meadows in Lisburn

Features of Lisburn & Castlereagh include new housing such as Magheralave Meadows in Lisburn

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Retail attractions such as Inns Market boost Lisburn & Castlereagh

It's home to diverse attractions from Dundonald Ice Bowl to Hillsborough Castle and retail destinations from Forestside shopping centre to farmers' markets.

Now Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council area has a new boast after Barclays Bank named it the province's top property investment spot.

It predicts house price growth of 16% - with the average reaching around £170,000 - over the next five years.

It's already the most expensive council area to buy a house, with the Northern Ireland property price index giving it a standardised price tag of £146,662 - compared to the lowest prices of around £109,411 in Londonderry City and Strabane.

The council area extends from the south east Belfast districts of Four Winds and Newtownbreda to Carryduff, Hillsborough and Lisburn.

And Ulster University economic policy centre senior economist Esmond Birnie said the appeal of Lisburn and Castlereagh rested on its location.

"It has the advantage of being in the greater Belfast metropolitan area economy without any of the disadvantages of being within the traditional city limits," he said.

"And because price levels generally start from a lower level than a location like north Down, prices in the area have more scope to grow."

Barclays' UK Property Predictor draws on factors including rental trends and employment patterns as well as the current market to create an index of property hotspots.

It said the predicted growth is partly due to forecast population expansion of 4.8% by 2021.

According to Land and Property Services' latest index, the standardised house price in the area of £146,662 for the first quarter of 2017 was up 3% on the year before.

Uel Mackin, a Lisburn and Castlereagh councillor and chairman of its development committee, said the Barclays research was "excellent news".

"We are fortunate to have a mix of urban and rural lifestyle combining city life with the charm of our villages and being positioned along the Belfast to Dublin economic corridor we are perfectly placed for both business and travel," he said.

"Commuters spend less time in traffic and no doubt this has a knock-on effect on health and wellbeing.

"Home to many of Northern Ireland's top tourist and leisure facilities, such as Dundonald Ice Bowl, Lagan Valley LeisurePlex and Hillsborough Castle - the only Historic Royal Palace located outside of London - Lisburn and Castlereagh is also a desirable place to visit for all ages.

"There is a strong sense of community and the people and businesses are extremely proud of Lisburn and Castlereagh."

In Newtownbreda, monthly farmers' market Inns Market has been running for three years.

Joanne McErlain of marketing firm We Are Babble said: "When we started Inns Market almost three years ago, there really wasn't very much in the Newtownbreda area that was community spirited and which catered to the leisure time aspirations of its population.

"Farmers' markets were not really en vogue in Northern Ireland, even three years ago, but there were plenty of other examples in our neighbouring jurisdictions of the positive impact they have on local communities and the local economy.

"We made a firm decision to support primary and artisan producers, with provenance at the heart of the ethos of Inns Market. In the three years since we started, it has become part of the fabric of Newtownbreda."

"Inns Market is an independently funded initiative but we are delighted that Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council has supported us."


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