Housing market subdued as price growth slows by 0.5%
House price growth in Northern Ireland has remained "subdued and lethargic" according to new research.
Statistics from the latest Quarterly House Price Index report from Ulster University, said the level of growth in the market between Q2 2018 and Q2 2019 sat at 0.9% with the average house costing £161,990.
This represented a small decline of 0.5% relative to the first quarter of the year - the second quarterly decline in a row according to the report produced in partnership with Progressive Building Society and the NI Housing Executive (NIHE).
Martin Hinch, lead researcher from Ulster University, said: "The latest Ulster University quarterly house price report reveals a residential housing market that continues to display subdued levels of growth.
"Whilst this trend has been observed for the last 18 months the resilience of the NI market throughout this period of unprecedented prolonged political and economic uncertainty is apparent.
"Despite uncertainty around the potential implications of leaving the EU, the lack of a functioning Stormont executive and ongoing turmoil in Westminster, core transaction levels and sustainable market conditions continue to prevail."
The report noted "an appetite in the market, particularly within the first time buyer segment".
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Michael Boyd, Progressive Building Society deputy chief executive and finance director, said: "There is still strong levels of transactions particularly with first-time buyers taking advantage of affordable housing, especially compared to the rest of the UK."
Karly Greene, head of research at the NIHE, added: "There is also evidence of some challenges for the first time buyers who have played an important role in driving the market over recent years."
The most activity took place in the lower priced market - £150,000 and below - accounting for 58% of transactions.
Ards and North Down had the highest average house price of £179,748, while the lowest was £136,827 in the Mid and East Antrim area.