Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland houses still the cheapest in UK despite 8% increase

By Margaret Canning

Northern Ireland’s average house price is up by nearly 8% to £123,000 — but homes here are still the lowest-priced in the UK, a survey has found.

At £123,000, the average price in the three months to June was up 7.8% — or around £9,000 — on the same period in 2015, according to research by the Department of Finance.

It was also up by nearly 4%, or around £5,000, on the first quarter of the year after stalling in the early part of the year.

The department’s quarterly house price index uses stamp duty records to monitor all house sales in Northern Ireland, including auction deals.

The number of sales fell by 21% from 5,224 to 4,075.

All types of dwellings saw an increase in price over the year, with terraces showing the biggest increase in value at 11% to £85,686. Semi-detached homes had the narrowest rise at just under 6% to £119,615.

The index divides the province by district council area, with Lisburn and Castlereagh the dearest area, with an average price of £148,600. Londonderry city and Strabane was the cheapest district, with an average price of £102,715.

Beth Robinson, a partner at estate agents Templeton Robinson, which covers Belfast, Lisburn and north Down, said: “Despite uncertainty surrounding the Brexit campaign and subsequent leave vote, these figures show a steady market performance and growth. 

“The challenge now lies in sustaining the current strong levels of activity being recorded.”

She added that while July was typically a quiet month for house sales, her agency was experiencing “increased numbers of viewings, listings and completions”. 

UK-wide, house prices increased by £17,000 in the year to June, continuing the upward trend in property values despite fears of a Brexit downturn.

Northern Ireland’s £123,000 price tag was the lowest of the UK nations. England saw the biggest increase in prices — up 9.3% to average £229,000 — with a 4.9% jump to £145,000 in Wales and a 4.6% rise to £143,000 in Scotland.

PwC NI chief economist Dr Esmond Birnie said the data had caught only one week of market activity following the vote to leave the EU, but added: “We expect that the vote to leave the European Union will have a significant impact on the housing market, with UK property growth decelerating to around 3% this year and around 1% in 2017, before returning to a growth rate of about 5% per annum for the rest of the decade.”

Belfast Telegraph Digital