NI house prices drop

Published Wednesday, 28 November 2012
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The average house price in Northern Ireland has fallen to less than £139,000 as a study reveals the value of properties in the region is continuing to decrease.

NI house prices drop
House prices have dropped in the third quarter of 2012. (© Pacemaker)

The University of Ulster Quarterly House Price Index has shown that the price of apartments dropped by almost 23% in the last year.

But owners of semi-detached bungalows and detached homes are the lucky few, as the value of their properties has increased by 16% and 9% respectively during the same period.

There had been hopes of a market recovering after modest price rises in the second quarter of 2012, but costs fell almost 2% during the summer.

There was some variation across Northern Ireland, with properties in Belfast faring better than those in Enniskillen, Fermanagh and South Tyrone which are the least expensive.

In the third quarter of this year, fewer than 1,000 properties were bought and sold, and two thirds of all sales were at or below £150,000.

The authors of the report - Professor Alastair Adair, Professor Stanley McGreal and Dr David McIlhatton - said: "The results re-emphasise that recovery in the market is slow and, while there is some suggestion of improved price performance in parts of Northern Ireland and for certain property types, the overall weighted quarterly decline suggests that market sentiment is still to the downside."

Economists agree the economic difficulties are likely to continue to make the housing market difficult.

"While there are some signs of encouragement, the reality in the short term is that local market conditions are likely to remain fairly subdued until there is a sustained improvement in the wider economic environment," said Alan Bridle from Bank of Ireland.

The Housing Executive's Joe Frey, added, "There is no doubt that the housing market will continue to remain subdued for the foreseeable future, due in particular to uncertainties in the labour market."

© UTV News
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