Survey shows decline in house price growth and property prices

Gary McDonald Business Editor

ANNUAL house price growth in Northern Ireland has slowed to 1.7 per cent ,with prices falling by 0.4 per cent during the second quarter of this year, according to the latest residential market survey by PropertyPal.

But the region's rental market has remained buoyant throughout lockdown, as typical rents accelerated by 1.4 per cent on the previous three months and at an annual rate of 2.9 per cent.

According to the study, the average advertised property is now valued at £169,500, while the average monthly recent is £639 for houses and £667 for apartments.

Annual house price growth has remained stable at 2 per cent for houses, though prices for apartments have fallen by 2.1 per cent over the previous 12 months.

But the lockdown measures have led to significantly reduced volumes of properties advertised (PropertyPal claims to have more than daily 100,000 visitors to its website), with the 2,762 units added during quarter two being 64 per cent less than the same period in 2019.

“Covid-19 has had a profound and immediate impact on the Northern Ireland economy and housing market, and it's clear we are in the midst of a deep recession,” PropertyPal chief economist Jordan Buchanan said.

“But as lockdown measures continue to ease, the near-term housing market activity remains relatively positive.

“Transaction levels are picking up and home-buyers have revaluated their housing needs, though the medium-term outlook remains highly uncertain and much will depend on how quickly the economy recovers.

“The local housing market could benefit from Chancellor Rishi Sunak's abolition of stamp duty for properties up to £500,000, which will cover 99 per cent of transaction activity in Northern Ireland and may stimulate some wider consumer confidence.

But ultimately the cost and availability of mortgages are critical components in any housing market recovery.”


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