Belfast Telegraph

Finance Minister welcomes signs that the property market in Northern Ireland is beginning to stabilise

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Finance and Personnel

Finance Minister Simon Hamilton today welcomed the latest Official Statistics publication on the performance of the residential property market in Northern Ireland, using information on all sales from Land & Property Services and HMRC data sources.

The Northern Ireland Residential Property Price Index (NI RPPI) is produced by Land & Property Services in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency and is published on a quarterly basis.

The NI RPPI provides all those interested in the local housing market with Northern Ireland specific information on the change in residential property prices.

Commenting on the findings Simon Hamilton said: “I welcome the latest quarterly Residential Property Price Index report. This publication is now recognised for providing the most comprehensive picture of our local property market.

“The latest statistics include analysis of the three month period up to June 2013. The report shows that between the first and second quarters of 2013 prices increased by 2%, although over the full year the report shows a decline of 3%.

“It is promising to note that this is the first quarter since 2007 that an increase has occurred and confirms the views of local commentators that the property market here is beginning to stabilise. Over the long term the Index shows that the local market has rebalanced with prices at pre 2005 levels.”

The latest report also shows that, based on the latest figures available the ratio of median house prices to earnings has changed from over nine times the median annual gross full-time earnings in 2007 to just over 4 times in 2012.

The Minister concluded: “I fully appreciate the concern of those who purchased at the peak of the market; however, it is encouraging for all of us that the report shows that confidence is returning to the local housing market with the number of residential property sales beginning to rise. It is particularly good news for first time purchasers and those wishing to move up in a much more affordable housing market in Northern Ireland.”

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