Annual rise in Northern Ireland house prices is biggest in 14 years

House prices in Northern Ireland had their biggest annual increase since 2007 during the third quarter of 2021.

Average prices were up by almost 11% compared with the same period in 2020, and as high as 14% in Mid Ulster and Derry City and Strabane council areas.

The average house price in the period was £159,109 though there are big variations between council districts.

They range from £140,983 in Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon to £183,392 in Lisburn and Castlereagh.

Many economists had expected house prices to fall during the coronavirus pandemic but instead they have risen sharply.

There are several factors behind that: the government temporarily cut taxes on house purchases and the furlough scheme helped support incomes.

The inability to spend on holidays and other luxuries meant some people could also build up larger deposits.

Richard Ramsey, chief economist at Ulster Bank, said that across Northern Ireland average prices were up 13.1% or almost £18,400 since the start of the pandemic.

Just over 7,500 transactions were recorded in the third quarter though this will be revised up when late sales are added.

Those figures suggest the housing market is at its busiest in many years.

In the past three years the number of transactions has averaged 25,000 but the trend this year suggests transactions will be about 28,000 - the highest since 2007.


Article by: By John Campbell

BBC News NI Economics & Business Editor