Belfast Telegraph

House prices rise by 1% across Northern Ireland... but supply 'still an issue'

By John Mulgrew

House prices in Northern Ireland have risen by 1% in the last quarter to an average of around £130,000 while some regions have experienced significant surges.

Overall, prices across Northern Ireland are up 4.3% in the last year - rising to an average of £130,482.

And in the last quarter 5,501 properties were sold, according to the latest Land and Property Services report from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.

The house price index is now 17.6% higher than the first quarter of 2015. Eight of the eleven district council areas showed an increase over the quarter.

In Mid Ulster, prices rose by 5.9% in the last quarter, rising to £133,553 on average. Fermanagh and Omagh saw the second largest increase, with house prices rising by 4.2% in the last three months of the year, and by 8% over the year as a whole.

However, some areas saw a small drop in the average price of a home. That included Lisburn and Castlereagh, with a fall of 0.7%.

But with the average cost of a home sitting at £152,427, it remains the most expensive place to buy a house here.

The cheapest place to buy a home is in Derry City and Strabane, with the average cost of a house sitting at £116,970.

In Belfast, prices were relatively flat in the last quarter. Across the year as a whole, prices rose by 2.8% to an average of £122,434.

Paddy Turley, partner at estate agency UPS, said while the market is strong, there remains a shortage of property.

"Despite perceived challenges, house price growth has continued and reflective of the latest house price index, the outlook for 2017 remains buoyant with an active marketplace particularly among first-time buyers and those trading up," he said.

"Confidence in the market is good with sustained growth now year on year from 2013, with the main frustration being lack of supply and choice of homes coming to market.

"The main frustration is the supply of property."

He said both property sales and rentals are strong, along with the first-time buyer market.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland's housing market is poised to outperform the rest of the UK for the next few months, according to a separate survey.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey said members here were more confident about the housing market than their counterparts in the UK as a whole.

Belfast Telegraph

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