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The Briefing

Northern Ireland housing market remains resilient despite political and economic uncertainty

by Ulster University

08/02/2019

The latest Quarterly House Price Index report from Ulster University highlights sustainable and resilient annual price growth in Northern Ireland with the level of transactions remaining healthy. Quarterly growth is more subdued than earlier in 2018, continuing the more passive market conditions observed in the last quarter.

Ulster University’s research is produced in partnership with Progressive Building Society and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. Analysing the performance of the Northern Ireland housing market between October– December 2018, the report reveals an overall average house price of £163,165, up 4.9% over the year. The volume of transactions in the survey is 1,954.

Estate agents’ market observations this quarter have been dominated by the impending Brexit deadline. There is a strong feeling that many vendors, purchasers and investors are collectively holding off from any significant decisions relating to property transations until the outcome of the ongoing Brexit negotiations has been decided.

The distribution of sale prices this quarter broadly reflects the previous quarter, with the share of lower priced properties at or below £100,000 at 22% while properties sold at or below £150,000 accounted for 58% of transactions compared to 60% in the previous survey. For the higher price brackets, 78% of transactions are at or below £200,000, 87% of properties sold at or below £250,000 and 93% at or below £300,000.  Overall, the analysis by price band is indicative of a relatively stable and still affordable housing market in Northern Ireland, with price spreads relatively unchanged over the quarter.

Lead researcher, Dr Martin Hinch from Ulster University said: “This latest survey of the condition of the housing market in Northern Ireland indicates a continuation of the more subdued market conditions observed in the last quarter after the high growth levels observed in the first half of the year.  Annual increase for 2018 is resilient at 4.9% however quarterly growth is considerably more moderate, with very little change in overall average price during the last three months of the year.  This is consistent with housing markets elsewhere within the UK and would appear to reflect the high levels of political and economic uncertainty both in Northern Ireland and the wider economy.”

Commenting on the report Michael Boyd, Deputy Chief Executive and Finance Director, Progressive Building Society said, “While quarterly growth for Q4 was more subdued than in Q1 and Q2 of 2018, this report reflects a housing market that is sustainable compared to the same period in 2017. The well documented current political challenges may have impacted vendors’ decision making this quarter, resulting in suppressed sales with seasonality also playing a factor.  However, with unemployment rates below the UK average and continued affordability, the housing market is in a healthy place.”

Karly Greene, Head of Research at the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, which commissions the research, said:

“The local housing market was relatively buoyant in 2018 against a mixed background of political and economic conditions, and most of these factors carry over into 2019.  All other things being equal, we would expect the relatively affordable and stable housing market conditions of recent years to continue, but the uncertainty about Brexit and what it may mean for the wider economy and consumer confidence in Northern Ireland may well have some impact on the housing market in coming months, depending on what happens at the end of March.”   

ENDS///…

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

Market share by type of property

Market sector

Market Share

Terrace/townhouse

24%

Semi–detached house

32%

Detached house

23%

Semi–detached bungalow

3%

Detached  bungalow

7%

Apartment

11%

 

Performance by Property Type 

Market sector

Annual % Change

Quarterly % Change

Average Price    Q4 2018

Average Price Q1–Q4 2018

Terrace/townhouse

10.7

2.7

£111,735

£107,720

Semi–detached house

1.6

0.7

£150,882

£150,025

Detached house

4.3

0.3

£247,355

£244,545

Semi–detached bungalow

3.9

–2.0

£121,630

£121,100

Detached bungalow

–0.3

–3.2

£176,390

£177,232

Apartment

13.9

–3.2

£137,350

£142,405


Performance by Region

Location

Average Price

2018 Q4

Average Price 2018 Q1–Q4

Northern Ireland – All

163165

162448

Belfast–All

173969

173138

North Belfast

128849

123408

South Belfast

231766

234723

East Belfast

180444

181634

West Belfast

129424

125311

North Down

180262

187593

Lisburn

169896

170796

East Antrim

153667

148924

L’Derry/Strabane

132651

132945

Antrim Ballymena

151758

144115

Coleraine/Limavady/North Coast

161790

160322

Enniskillen/Fermanagh/S.Tyrone

162975

156464

Mid Ulster

146468

145689

Mid and South Down

170604

160184

Craigavon/Armagh

125247

129731

About Ulster University

Ulster University is a modern, forward–looking institution with student experience at the very heart of everything we do. Our high–quality teaching, informed by world–leading research across key sectors, boosts the economy and has a positive impact on the lives of people around the world.

For more information please visit www.ulster.ac.uk or follow us on Twitter @ulsteruni

 

For more information please contact Lee Campbell, Ulster University Press Office.

T: 028 90 366295

E: l.campbell5@ulster.ac.uk