ESTATE AGENT SAYS APPETITE STRONG TO BUY DESPITE NEW SURVEY REVEALING NI HOUSE PRICES STILL FALLING

House prices stll falling in Northern Ireland

A UNIVERSITY of Ulster survey has revealed that house prices are still falling.

The Quarterly House Price Index survey for the third quarter of 2012 shows that the modest price rises recorded in the second quarter were not repeated.

But a leading Northern Ireland estate agency said it believes the market is strong for selling properties despite strict lending conditions.

Keith Mitchel, Senior Partner/Director, Templeton Robinson said on Wednesday: “Our experience is that appetite to buy is the strongest it has been for the past three years with overall enquiries up by 33% year on year.

“We are currently converting these daily to offers and agreed sales where owners are realistic about today’s affordability and understand it is about the cost to change.”

The overall average price of a house in the third quarter was £138,966 – down  3.6% over the year and 1.75% over the second quarter.

AVERAGE HOUSE PRICES:

  • Terrace/townhouse £79,819
  • Semi-detached house £122,451
  • Detached house £241,978
  • Semi-detached bungalow £121,367
  • Detached bungalow £147,666
  • Apartment £94,942

The figures are based on a selection of transactions recorded across a network of estate agents for the third quarter was 958.

The report said 41% of houses in the survey sold for £100,000 or less. Overall, 72% of sales were at or below £150,000.

It said the trend across all property types was generally one of decline in the third quarter, “but there were exceptions, indicating a still volatile picture”.

The sharpest fall was in the apartment sector, which dropped 22.7% in price over the year.

Compared to the same time last year, detached bungalows have fallen 12.5% in price, terraced/townhouses are down 11.7% and semi-detached houses have declined by 8.5%.

HOUSE PRICES BY REGION:

  • North Belfast £82,253
  • South Belfast £220,993
  • East Belfast £159,151
  • West Belfast £104,050
  • North Down £204,175
  • Lisburn £124,379
  • East Antrim £100,722
  • L’derry/Strabane £120,896
  • Antrim/Ballymena £115,430
  • Coleraine/Limavady/North Coast £120,764
  • Enniskillen/Fermanagh/S.Tyrone £80,048
  • Mid Ulster £127,247
  • Mid and South Down £134,191
  • Craigavon/Armagh £87,523

Two property types show increases, with semi-detached bungalow prices up 16.1% over a year and detached houses rising by 9.3%.

South Belfast remains the highest priced area in Northern Ireland while the Enniskillen/Fermanagh/South Tyrone market is the least expensive.

The authors of the report, Professor Alastair Adair, Professor Stanley McGreal and Dr David McIlhatton said the recovery in the housing market would be “slow and irregular”.

“The results re-emphasise that recovery in the market is slow and, while there is some suggestion of improved price performance in parts of Northern Ireland and for certain property types, the overall weighted quarterly decline suggests that market sentiment is still to the downside,” they said.

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