North's house prices
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THE average price of a house in the north is almost 30 per cent below the height reached in the 2007 property boom.

New research published today by Property Pal found the £134,200 median price of a house here is 40 per cent below the UK average. The online housing portal has produced new micro-area analysis to show the five most popular places in the north to buy a house.

Carrowreagh, just outside Dundonald topped last year’s list with 180 homes sold. It came just ahead of Windsor (171), Bloomfield (137), Connswater (126) and Central Craigavon (125).

Cultra and Malone are the most expensive areas to buy a home, with median property prices of just over £400,000.

However research found over 80 locations in the north where median property prices are under £100,000.

According to Property Pal’s new economic and housing forecast, house prices grew 3.6 per cent last year. Assuming a ‘soft Brexit’ can be secured, it anticipates prices will rise by 2.9 per cent in 2019, 3.6 per cent next year and continue to rise from 3-4 percent until 2023.

The company’s chief economist Jordan Buchanan said that the north’s economy is expected to grow by 1.2 per cent this year, 1.3 per cent next year and between 1.5-2 per cent until 2023.

“The Northern Ireland economy has been performing particularly well in recent years despite an increasingly challenging backdrop,” he said.

“Firms have been hiring at record rates, economic inactivity is falling and unemployment is exceptionally low by historical standards, and amongst the lowest of any advanced nation in the world. However, the outlook remains cautious with many forward leading indicators suggesting the local economy is close to a recession.”

Focussing on the housing market, he said the north remains amongst the most affordable places in the UK to buy a home.

“Today the median house price in Northern Ireland stands at £134,200, 29 per cent below the highs of 2007 and over 40 per cent lower than the UK average (though a more sensible comparison is 34 per cent lower that Great Britain excluding London).”

Commenting on the potential impact Brexit might have on the market’s outlook, the economist added: ‘Until a Brexit deal is secured, economic and political uncertainty will restrain buyer sentiment.

“The UK wide housing market will remain price sensitive and beyond that, depending on what deal is agreed, will have an impact on the path of interest rates, wage growth and house prices.

“Fortunately from a Northern Ireland perspective, there is a case for optimism as the fundamental drivers remain encouraging. Ongoing affordability, pent up demand, a low interest rate environment – with competitive mortgage deals – and an increasingly tight labour market, with real wage growth, should support house price growth in the coming years.”

By Ryan McAleer

Source: Irish News

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