Northern Ireland average housing rent is £538 a month

Image caption,
In the first quarter of 2014 the average house price was £134,720

New research puts the average cost of renting a private property in Northern Ireland at £538 a month.

But prices in north Down, Belfast, Castlereagh and Lisburn are higher. The data is contained in a report on the housing market from the University of Ulster and the Bank of Ireland.

It also shows that in the first quarter of 2014 the average house price was £134,720.

The figure shows a rise of 1.3% on the same period on 2013.

The price figure is based on 1,805 transactions, compared with 1,407 a year ago.

The report also found the number of properties being rented in Northern Ireland is on the increase.

There were 26,400 lettings in 2013, with most rental properties being terraces, followed by apartments.

Average monthly costs were north Down (£602); Belfast (£581); Lisburn (£574) and Castlereagh (£566).

Moyle was the cheapest council area to rent in at £433.

The number of households renting from a private landlord in Northern Ireland has increased dramatically over the last decade.

Census figures show 41,700 households were in private rental accommodation in 2001; by 2011 that had increased by 128% to 95,200.

The share of all households accounted for by private renting rose from 6.6% in 2001 to 14% in 2011.

The report is produced in partnership with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and the Bank of Ireland.

Mortgage regulations

Alan Bridle, UK economist at the bank, said loans for house purchases in the last 12 months were at their highest since the 2007 peak.

He cautioned that the market would have to absorb the impact of the recently introduced tougher mortgage regulations and the prospect of an interest rate increase.

The area with the highest average price is south Belfast at £186,502, the lowest is Fermanagh/South Tyrone at £90,944

The NI Residential Property Price Index, produced by Stormont's statistics agency, which was published last week showed a faster growth rate of 7% .

However that index, which includes more data than the university survey, calculates the average residential property price at £102,000.

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 about half what it once was, with thousands of homeowners trapped in negative equity.