Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland house prices rise by 6%

By John Mulgrew

The cost of a home in Belfast has fallen in the last three months following years of steady growth, a report has shown.

While the average price of a home across Northern Ireland is up by 5.9% in the last year, rising to £153,448, prices in Belfast have fallen by 0.7% to £160,317.

That's according to Ulster University's House Price Index for the first three months of 2017, based on the same period a year earlier.

But property prices in the city were dragged down by a fall in the cost of buying an apartment or detached home, which "considerably reduced average prices". However, semi-detached properties and terraced houses saw price rises.

In Lisburn prices shot up by almost 20% on the same period a year earlier.

House sales in the first quarter of the year were down slightly on the previous three months.

"This is traditionally the slowest quarter of the year," the report says. "However, the uncertainties over the challenging political landscape and the unknown long-term effect of Brexit may have had an impact."

On average, North Down is the most expensive area to own a home outside of South Belfast, at an average price of £185,952.

The cheapest area is Fermanagh/South Tyrone, with homes costing £113,401 on average.

Lead researcher, Professor Stanley McGreal from Ulster University, said the main finding of the report is "that the overall housing market is experiencing some positive growth over the year, but over the quarter growth appears to be more static".

"As part of our research, we gather insights from estate agents across the region," he added.

"We found there was a general feeling of uncertainty from agents concerning the performance of the market during the first quarter."

Michael Boyd from Progressive said: "These latest figures reflect the affordability there is in the housing market in Northern Ireland and, despite political upheaval, the economy has shown its resilience with activity having grown by 2.1% in the last quarter of 2016 and unemployment falling."

Belfast Telegraph

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