Lisburn and Castlereagh district to see 16 per cent rise in house prices by 2021

Gareth McKeown

THE Lisburn and Castlereagh district has been named as the north's top property investment hotspot according to new research from Barclays.

The bank's newly released UK property predictor states that Lisburn and Castlereagh, which takes in many of the outer suburbs of Belfast, is set to experience a 16 per cent growth in house prices by 2021, the largest increase out of any Northern Ireland region.

This is followed by the Belfast and the Ards and North Down council areas, expected to undergo a 13.7 and 13 per cent increase respectively over the next five years.

Research shows the growth in Lisburn and Castlereagh will be driven by population growth and rising rates of residential rental. The area is predicted to see a population growth of 4.8 per cent by 2021 and in recent years has witnessed a steady rise in house prices, with an increase of 24 per cent recorded between 2011 and 2015.

Another clear factor influencing house prices is the consistent and growing rate of employment. Over 2017-2021, Belfast is expected to experience short to medium term employment growth (1 per cent), which is set to fuel additional demand for housing. With limited city centre housing Belfast is set to see a 13.7 increase, while increases in Lisburn and Castlereagh and Ards and North Down are influenced by both district's close proximity to Belfast for commuters.

The Ards and North Down council area currently has one of the highest employment rates of any local authority area in the north (74.2 per cent), which means that average household incomes in the area are particularly strong and puts demand on housing

Head of wealth and investment management at Barclays NI Jonathan Dobbin said the research highlighted a readjustment in the most desirable places to live.

"The identified areas for growth are in and around Belfast, benefitting from better transport links and relatively short commuting times. While other employment hotspots are starting to spring up outside Belfast, it is no surprise that house prices are rising most in those areas with the best commuter times to Belfast. This highlights the importance of quickly advancing key infrastructure projects such as the new Great Victoria Street transport hub and the York Street Interchange project.”

The Barclays UK property predictor indicates that house prices across the UK are likely to see similar rises, with Edinburgh house prices expected to grow 20.2 per cent by 2021, and Newcastle-Upon-Tyne to see a 12.2 per cent rise.

London house prices are predicted to see the overall highest expected growth percentages, with Richmond Upon Thames coming out on top with a 39.1 per cent increase over the next five years.

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