Belfast Telegraph

House prices increased by just under 1% in NI, report shows

The latest Quarterly House Price Index report indicated a ‘stable but lethargic’ residential property market.

House prices increased by just under 1% over the last year in Northern Ireland, Ulster University said (Joe Giddens/PA)
House prices increased by just under 1% over the last year in Northern Ireland, Ulster University said (Joe Giddens/PA)

By Michael McHugh, PA

House prices increased by just under 1% over the last year in Northern Ireland, Ulster University said.

The latest Quarterly House Price Index report indicated a “stable but lethargic” residential property market.

It followed a trend of a subdued rate of house price growth over the past five quarters.

Estate agents’ observations showed the absence of a Stormont executive, ongoing Brexit uncertainty and political change in Westminster had affected market sentiment, buyer activity and confidence.

Dr Martin Hinch, 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 Northern Ireland 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.”

Ulster University’s research was produced in partnership with the Progressive Building Society and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

These market conditions are being influenced by the Brexit process and the lack of an accountable local executive Michael Boyd, Progressive Building Society

Analysing the performance of the Northern Ireland housing market between April and June 2019, the report revealed an overall average house price of £161,990, representing a nominal weighted level of growth of 0.9% between the second quarter of last year and the same period this year.

Estate agents were optimistic that the sluggish market conditions will pick up in the coming six months.

Michael Boyd, deputy chief executive and finance director at the Progressive Building Society, said: “These market conditions are being influenced by the Brexit process and the lack of an accountable local executive.

“However, there are still strong levels of transactions, particularly with first-time buyers, who are taking advantage of affordable housing especially compared to the rest of the UK.

“Looking forward, we will continue to work to support an affordable housing market and while Brexit continues to impact growth, clarity around the process will be a welcome stimulus for the local market.”

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 Karly Greene, Northern Ireland Housing Executive

Karly Greene, head of research at the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, which commissioned the research, said: “For a sixth consecutive quarter, Ulster University’s analysis of the price of properties sold in Northern Ireland shows very little change at headline level.

“The high degree of overall stability in house prices reflects wider uncertainties but, as always, there is greater variation at local level and in different segments of the market.

“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.”

PA

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