Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland house prices up 3.8% in last quarter

By John Mulgrew and PA

House prices in Northern Ireland have risen by 3.8% in the last three months - outpacing most of the UK. Overall, house price growth rebounded in June across the UK, pushing the average value over the £210,000 mark for the first time, according to Nationwide Building Society.

In the last quarter, house prices in Northern Ireland rose to an average of £133,449.

Average UK property values increased by 1.1% month-on-month in June, reversing monthly declines from the three previous months.

In Scotland, prices increased by 1.7% annually, while in Northern Ireland saw growth of 3.8%.

And price increases are being felt on the ground, according to one estate agent. Richard McCulloch of McCulloch Estate Agents in Magherafelt said it was busy, with many properties having multiple bidders.

"It's seasonal, and there are more transactions at this time of the year. There is a good confidence out there, from buyers, at this time in the market," he said.

"People are trying to get in pre-Brexit. They are worried about what could happen.

"With these transactions, there are potentially two or three people bidding on the same properties."

The increase pushed the average price across the UK to a new record of £211,301.

June's monthly increase was the strongest since a 1.2% uplift in April 2015. Growth also accelerated on an annual basis, with a 3.1% increase in June, the strongest since March.

The East Anglia region has seen the strongest price growth annually, with a 5% uplift, followed by the South West at 4.4%, and the North West of England and the East Midlands with 4.1%.

The weakest annual growth was in the North East of England, which saw a 1.1% increase, followed by London at 1.2% and Wales with 1.4%.

Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide, said UK-wide annual price growth has returned to the 3% to 6% range that had been prevailing since early 2015.

"There has been a shift in regional house price trends. Price growth in the South of England has moderated, converging with the rates prevailing in the rest of the country.

"In quarter two the gap between the strongest performing region and the weakest was the smallest on record, based on data going back to 1974. London saw a particularly marked slowdown, with annual price growth moderating to just 1.2% - the second slowest pace of the 13 UK regions and the weakest pace of growth in the capital since 2012."

Mr Gardner said it is unclear whether the increase in June reflects strengthening demand or a lack of supply.

Belfast Telegraph