Housing market continues to perform strongly - UU report

New homes have helped fuel interest among first time buyers
New homes have helped fuel interest among first time buyers

House prices across the province rose by around 6.2 per cent between April and June according to the latest Quarterly House Price Index report from Ulster University.

The report it said revealed a relatively healthy market with “strong but sustainable” levels of growth over the last 12 months.

The UU research is produced in partnership with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and Progressive Building Society and shows the average house price hit £162,215, up 6.2% over the year based across 2,116 transactions.

The distribution of sale prices was broadly similar to the previous quarter, with properties at or below £100,000 taking 23% or the market and properties sold at or below £150,000 account for 58% of transactions.

Overall, the data indicated a relatively stable and still affordable housing market , backed by a “reasonably positive” rsponse from estate agents.

There is also a greater number of new properties coming onto the market in the semi-detached house, detached house and apartment sectors.

“This Ulster University research provides a quarterly snapshot of the housing market, helping to inform those involved in the buying or selling process of local trends and developments,” said lead researcher, Dr Martin Hinch from Ulster University.

“The latest survey of the health of the Northern Ireland housing market highlights a strongly performing sector with prices up on average by 6.2% over the year and transactions being maintained at high levels.”

Michael Boyd, deputy CEO and finance director with Progressive, said: “The confidence in the Northern Ireland housing market in the last year has been borne out in our latest report which has seen an average annual price increase more than 3% above the rate of inflation.

“There are a number of factors that supports this sustainable growth, including continued affordability in comparison to the majority of UK regions, availability of new homes within the first-time buyer market and low levels of unemployment with wages starting to gain on inflation throughout 2018.”

Karly Greene, head of research at NIHE said: “Overall, the figures are indicative of a relatively healthy residential housing market.

“However, ongoing monitoring will be particularly important in the continuing climate of economic and political uncertainty, and in light of the Bank of England’s recent decision to raise the base interest rate.”