Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland house prices up 2% in 2017 to an average of £131,989


House prices have seen a steady recovery since the property crash a decade ago
House prices have seen a steady recovery since the property crash a decade ago

By John Mulgrew & PA

The average price of a home in Northern Ireland increased by 2% last year to £131,989, however growth was behind Britain.

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The province remains one of the cheapest places in the UK to buy a property.

Overall, house prices in the UK ended 2017 2.6% higher, with London the weakest-performing region for the first time in 13 years, according to Nationwide Building Society.

The average UK price was £211,156 in December, marking a 0.6% month-on-month increase and contributing to the 2.6% annual uplift.

In the last quarter house prices actually fell by 0.1% in Northern Ireland.

The only cheaper region was the north east of England, which saw 0.2% annual growth to £124,535.

The annual rise was the slowest for any calendar year since 2012. It compares with a 4.5% annual increase in 2016.

For the first year since 2008 prices in northern England and the Midlands combined grew at a faster rate than in southern England, Nationwide said, with a 3.6% year-on-year increase compared with 1.6%.

In London prices were down 0.5% annually, taking the average to £470,922.

West Midlands was the strongest performer, with prices up by 5.2% for 2017, followed by the South West at 4.8%.

An increase of 3.3% was seen in Wales, and 2.6% in Scotland.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief economist, said that 2017 "saw the beginnings of a shift" as rates of price growth in the South of England moderated towards those in the rest of the country.

He said: "London saw a particularly marked slowdown, with prices falling in annual terms for the first time in eight years, albeit by a modest 0.5%.

"London ended the year the weakest-performing region for the first time since 2004."

Mr Gardner said a 20% deposit in London now typically equates to more than £80,000, based on the average first-time buyer price.

This is around £30,000 higher than a decade ago.

In other regions, such as the Midlands and northern England, the deposit requirements for buyers are similar to 2007, he added.

Belfast Telegraph