Northern Ireland

Survey indicates further drop in Northern Ireland house prices

For sale signs
Image caption The authors of the report said the recovery of the NI housing market would be slow

The value of houses in Northern Ireland has fallen again, according to the latest University of Ulster Quarterly House Price Index.

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

The overall average price of a house in the third quarter was £138,966.

This represented a weighted decline of 3.6% over the year and 1.75% over the second quarter.

The sample number 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%.

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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