House prices in Northern Ireland rise by 6% over the past year to £132,169

House prices in Northern Ireland have risen by 6 per cent over the past year according to the latest government figures

HOUSE prices in Northern Ireland have increased by 6 per cent over the past year according to new government figures, rising to £132,169.

The latest House Price Index for July to September shows a jump in residential property prices across the board and at a faster annual rate than the UK average (5.4 per cent). Every council area in the north noted a rise in prices, both over the quarter and the year, the former up by the 3 per cent and the latter 6 per cent. The House Price Index is now 19.1 per cent higher than it was at the start of 2015, but remains 44 per cent behind the 2007 peak.

In terms of individual areas both the Causeway Coast and Glens and Derry City and Strabane council areas saw the sharpest increases of 9.1 per cent on the same period a year ago, with prices swelling to £137,877 and £115,339 respectively. The latter, however, remains the cheapest place to buy a house in Northern Ireland, with the most expensive properties located in the Lisburn and Castlereagh council area (£159,966), which saw a 6.4 per cent increase over the year.

The average property in Belfast will set you back £123,409, with the city experiencing a 2.6 per cent jump in value over the quarter and an annual increase of 3.9 per cent - the lowest of all areas in the north.

The Index measures change in the price of residential property sold in Northern Ireland and uses stamp duty information on residential property sales recorded by HMRC. The number of deals completed between July and September was 5,453.

RICS Northern Ireland residential property spokesman, Samuel Dickey said house prices are rising at a "relatively healthy rate".

"Looking ahead, the RICS survey suggests that this will be maintained into 2018; albeit that there are some challenges, including limited supply, alongside rising inflation and the fact that interest rates are edging upwards.”

Director at estate agents Templeton Robinson, Neil Templeton added:

“We are certainly seeing a positive and confident Northern Ireland housing market, with enquiries and transactions particularly strong with regard to semi-detached dwellings, for which demand remains high. Prices have been on a steady upward climb since 2013 and we envisage this trend to continue in the face of limited supply.”

Meanwhile the number of new homes being built in the north is now at its highest level in seven years according to new government figures.

The Northern Ireland Housing Bulletin shows the number of new dwellings commenced between April and June was 2,444. This is 19 per cent higher than the same time last year, and the highest number since 2010.

While the number of homes completed over this period fell 2.4 per cent, it continues a long term upward trend.

Nicola McCrudden, Chartered Institute of Housing director for Northern Ireland, said the improvement in housebuilding was "very welcome".

“The ongoing recovery of housebuilding in Northern Ireland will help to ease pressure on rents and house prices. However, the level of new housebuilding needs to keep up with the level of need and we still have some way to go. There are obstacles that we must overcome including getting land where it is needed and improving our planning system.”

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