House prices continued to climb in most areas after lifting of lockdown restrictions
HOUSE prices largely rose across the north over the summer following the easing of coronavirus restrictions at the end of June, new official figures show.
The average price stood at £143,205 in the third quarter (Q3), with the House Price Index (HPI) as a whole rising 1.5 per cent over July to September.
The index is now 2.4 per cent up on the same quarter last year.
But the increases were not universal, with the average price of a terrace house actually falling 1.4 per cent to £100,047 from the second to the third quarter.
Both detached houses and apartments increased by 3 per cent over the quarter.
Prices also fell in three areas: Derry City and Strabane; Mid and East Antrim; and Fermanagh and Omagh.
Derry City and Strabane remains the cheapest place to buy (£126,412), but prices are up 5.3 per cent on Q3 2019, albeit down 1.3 per cent drop over the quarter.
Lisburn and Castlereagh remains the most expensive place on average to buy (£170,530).
The introduction of restrictions on the housing market cut sales by two-thirds in the second quarter.
Sales recovered to 4,630 in Q3, however that figure will be revised when more data is accrued, the NI Statistics and Research Agency said.
Economist Jordan Buchanan said pent up demand and delayed sales had helped the housing market post-lockdown, with favourable mortgage rates and behavioural shifts also playing a part.
"The near-term housing market activity remains positive and is likely to be a stronger end to the year compared to ‘normal’ periods," he said.
"However, uncertainty is likely to dominate the market throughout 2021 and may see a more cautious approach from buyers.
"In line with the economic uncertainty, mortgage lenders have restricted products for buyers with less than a 15 per cent deposit which will adversely impact the first time buyer market."