Northern Ireland

NI house sales 'strongest since 2007'

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Media captionHouse sales were the strongest since the same period in 2007

Northern Ireland house prices are rising, according to new figures covering the first months of 2014.

The Residential Property Price Index records growth of 7% on this time last year.

For the time of year, sales - at 4,200 - were their strongest since 2007.

According to the data compiled by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, the index calculates the average residential property price at £102,000.

Prices grew by 3% between October 2013 and March 2014.

'Steadied'

Stormont's Finance Minister Simon Hamilton said the statistics were "further evidence of steady, balanced growth from the low point of early 2013".

He added: "The ratio of property prices to annual gross earnings has steadied at just over four times.

"At the peak of the market, prices were more than nine times the median salary."

Northern Ireland's housing market hit a price peak in 2007, but suffered one of the world's worst crashes.

Residential property is currently worth half what it once was, with thousands of homeowners trapped in negative equity.

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