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NI house prices rise... but at slower rate to rest of UK


Across the UK, the average house price in May was £255,000.

Across the UK, the average house price in May was £255,000.

Across the UK, the average house price in May was £255,000.

Average house prices here were up 6% in May compared to the same month last year.

However, the rise was less than other regions of the UK and more than half the rate recorded in Scotland and Wales, analysis reveals.

The average price paid for a house here was £149,000, compared to £271,000 in England, £184,000 in Wales and £171,000 in Scotland, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported.

House prices increased by 10% in the year to May, pushing them close to a record high, according to official figures.

Across the UK, the average house price in May was £255,000, nearly returning to the record seen in March of £256,000, the ONS said.

While prices in the North West of England surged by 15.2% over the year, London recorded the smallest, 5.2%, following by Northern Ireland.

Average house prices increased over the year in England to £271,000 or 9.7% annual growth, in Wales by 13.3% and 12.1% in Scotland.

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Pent up demand following a severe slow down in sales during the early days of the pandemic, a lockdown-driven demand for bigger properties, savings generated during this period, continued low borrowing costs and the Stamp Duty holiday are all reported to be factors pushing up prices.

The phasing out of the stamp duty holiday, which increased to £250,000 from £125,0000 after which it kicked in, had less of an effect here because of the lower average prices.

The ONS numbers are similar to those reported by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) for the first quarter of this year.

House prices here from January to March were 6% higher than the same time last year; the biggest rise since 2016.

Detached properties saw the biggest rise in value, up 7.6% over the 12-month period. Between January and March this year, 6,732 residential properties were sold. The average price for a house in Northern Ireland is £149,178, ranging from £128,320 in Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon to £175,813 in Lisburn and Castlereagh.

Ards and North Down saw the biggest annual rise in house prices, up 10.6% to £172,551.

ONS head of economic statistics Sam Beckett said: "House prices grew 10% in the year to May, continuing the trend seen in recent months.

"Once again, it's property prices in London that are showing the lowest annual growth, with the North West of England showing the strongest."

She added: "After dipping in April, UK average house prices saw a slight monthly increase in the month to May 2021 to £255,000, nearly returning to the record UK average house price seen in March."

Jamie Durham, economist at PwC, said: "London continues to be the region with the slowest growth, with prices up 5.2% in the last year, reflecting the affordability challenge with the average property in the capital costing nearly twice as much as the UK average.”