DUBLIN: House prices in Northern Ireland have gone up 16 per cent in just two years, new figures show. The average property price is now £128,650, which is well below the 2008 boom price of around £198,000 but still showing considerable growth over the last few years. Figures released today by Land & Property Services and the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency show a 4.4 per cent rise over the last year. The House Price Index report for Quarter 2 2017 uses stamp duty information on residential property sales. Key points include a 3.1 per cent rise between Q1 and Q2 this year and a 4.4 per cent increase between Q2 2016 and Q2 2017. The report shows that 5,106 residential properties were sold during Q2 2017 and that “the house price index is now 16% higher than Q1 2015”. Commenting on the latest stats, Ulster Bank Chief Economist Richard Ramsey said there is a big difference between new-build home and older properties.
He added: “The latest Northern Ireland Residential Property Price Index shows that overall average house prices increased 3.1% quarter-on-quarter and 4.4% year-on-year. However, looking more closely at the data reveals that there is a two-speed market going on, with the average price of new build homes rising significantly faster than that of existing or resold housing stock. “New build prices are up by 25% in the past two years, compared to 10% for existing or resold properties. This means that new build prices are at an eight-year high, and are now less than one-third below their peak in Q3 2007. Meanwhile the average price of existing or resold stock is still 45% below its peak. “Interestingly, there is also divergence between urban and rural areas, with average prices in rural areas up 6.3% in the past year, compared to 3.7% for urban areas. And Belfast saw the slowest rate of growth of the Northern Ireland regions (year-on-year).”