New figures show that property prices in Northern Ireland have recorded an increase across the board for the first time since 2007.
According to the latest Northern Ireland Property Price Index, residential property prices in the Province rose by 2 per cent between the first and second quarters of 2013. All house types, including detached, semi-detached, terrace and apartments, increased in value during this period – the first time in six years that this has happened.
The average residential property price for all types of home in Northern Ireland during the three months ending in June was £96,327. Detached houses were worth £153,063 and terraced houses £62,690. Semi-detached properties sold at £95,903 while apartments were £76,884.
Overall property prices were highest in Castlereagh, a borough located south of Belfast, and lowest in Craigavon in north County Armagh.
Ulster Bank’s chief economist Richard Ramsey welcomed the latest findings, and predicted that this could be a significant turning point in the problems that have plagued NI’s property market for over half-a-decade.
“What we are entering is a period of house price stabilisation,” he explained. “As far as the economy is concerned, it’s a big improvement and should do more for consumer confidence and economic confidence. The house price falls are probably behind us now.”
NI’s Finance minister Simon Hamilton agreed that these figures were very good news for future economic growth.
“It is promising to note that this is the first quarter since 2007 that an increase has occurred and confirms the views of local commentators that the property market here is beginning to stabilise,” he said.
“Over the long term the index shows that the local market has rebalanced with prices at pre-2005 levels.”
Northern Ireland’s latest Property Price Index also shows that there has been an increase in buyer activity, with the newest figures showing a 10 per cent boost in sales over the same period in 2012.