Belfast Telegraph

Latest Northern Ireland Housing Bulletin published

Stormont Executive press release - Department for Social Development

The Northern Ireland Housing Bulletin, for the period January to March 2013, was published by the Department for Social Development today.

· The total number of new dwelling starts was 1,720, a decrease of 18% on the same period in 2012.

· The total number of new dwelling completions was 2,004, an increase of 5% on the same period in 2012.

· In total, 4,923 households presented as homeless to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive during January to March 2013. This is an increase of 652 (15%) from the previous quarter. The reason category with the highest number of presenters (1,006) was those citing a sharing breakdown or family dispute as the reason for homelessness.

· The number of households accepted by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive as full duty applicants for the quarter January to March 2013 was 2,128, a decrease of 9% compared to the previous quarter. The reason categories with the highest proportion of full duty applicants were those citing accommodation not reasonable (27%) and those citing a sharing breakdown or family dispute (19%). Of those accepted as full duty applicants during the quarter 205 were discharged.

· In the first quarter of 2013 the Northern Ireland Residential Property Price Index stands at 87. Between Quarter 4 (October - December) 2012 and Quarter 1 (January - March) 2013 residential property prices fell by 1%.

· For the first quarter of 2013, the standardised residential property price is 6% lower than the same quarter in 2012 and 13% lower than in the first quarter of 2005.

Notes to editors:

1. The Northern Ireland Housing Bulletin is produced each quarter by the Analytical Services Unit of the Department for Social Development. It contains information on new housing starts and completions, homelessness, the Residential Property Price Index and new house sales and prices. Provisional and revised figures are indicated by (P) and (R) respectively.

2. Details of housing starts and completions for the private sector are supplied by Local Authority Building Control for each of the 26 Local Government Districts. Data for the social rented sector are provided by NIHE and the Housing Associations Branch of the Department for Social Development.

3. Statistics on Homelessness are sourced from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE). Where the Housing Executive concludes that an applicant is eligible, homeless (threatened with homelessness), in priority need and unintentionally homeless it owes them full housing duty. An applicant to whom full housing duty is owed is referred to as a “Full Duty Applicant” – FDA. In this case the Executive shall secure that accommodation becomes available for their occupation. The Housing Executive can discharge its housing duty in one of three ways: by re-housing of the applicant in the social sector, by offering the applicant three reasonable offers of accommodation in the social sector which are all refused by the applicant or if the applicant re-houses him/herself and is no longer interested.

4. The Residential Property Price Index designed by Land and Property Services provides a measure of change in the price of a standardised residential property sold in Northern Ireland. The index uses information on all verified residential property sales as recorded by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

5. Data for new house sales and price are derived from transactions for new private sector and Housing Associations dwellings notified by solicitors to the National House Building Council (NHBC). Refer to the following link for more information:

6. For the purposes of this bulletin, the terms ‘house’ and ‘dwelling’ are interchangeable and can be defined as ‘a self-contained unit of accommodation, having all amenities available to each household (own kitchen, bathroom, toilet) regardless of shared entrance.’ A ‘house’ or ‘dwelling’ will, therefore, comprise ‘either one self-contained household space or a number of non self-contained household spaces’.

7. The bulletin is available on the Department for Social Development’s website at Hard copies are available from the Analytical Services Unit, Department for Social Development, Level Four, James House, 2 Cromac Avenue, Gasworks Business Park, Ormeau Road, Belfast, BT7 2JA; Telephone - (028) 9081 9940; E-mail

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