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NI house prices: Surprise increase in second quarter of 2023

NI house prices: Surprise increase in second quarter of 2023

House prices in Northern Ireland saw a surprise increase in the second quarter of 2023.

The official House Price Index saw a 1.4% increase compared to the first quarter of the year, giving an average price of just under £174,000.

Prices were 2.7% higher when compared to the same period in 2022.

The housing market had been weakening as rising interest rates make mortgage payments more expensive.

Prices in NI had fallen for two consecutive quarters at end of 2022 and start of 2023.

The official figures suggest that house sales in Northern Ireland were down by 20% in the first half of 2023.

The data from HMRC showed there were 11,030 housing transactions in the first six months of the year compared to 13,810 in the same period of 2022.

Apart from 2020 when house sales were disrupted by the pandemic, it was the slowest start to a year since 2015.

Three local council districts saw prices falling between the first and second quarters: Mid and East Antrim (-0.2%), Belfast (-0.5%) and Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon (-1.5%).

All other council districts saw prices either flat or increasing with the largest quarterly rise of 8.4% in Derry City and Strabane.

The lowest average price of just over £152,000 was in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon while Lisburn and Castlereagh had the highest price of just over £203,000.

Meanwhile official figures suggest that private sector rents in Northern Ireland increased by 9.2% in the year to May.

The annual rate for Northern Ireland has slowed since the recent peak of 10% in the 12 months to March, but remains higher than other UK countries.

Earlier this year, the Office for National Statistics compared average Northern Ireland household disposable incomes in to average house prices in 2022.

It found that in Northern Ireland the average house cost was 5.1 times the average annual incomes.

In Scotland the ratio was 5.3, in Wales it was 6.4 and in England it was 8.4.

At the peak of Northern Ireland's housing bubble in 2008 it was the least affordable regional housing market, but since 2012 has usually been the most affordable.

Source: John Campbell - BBC News NI