Northern Ireland

NI house prices: Minister encouraged by improving market

Finance Minister Simon Hamilton
Image caption Finance Minister Simon Hamilton said the housing market had become increasingly active

Finance Minister Simon Hamilton has said he is encouraged by new figures which show the continuing recovery of the Northern Ireland housing market.

Residential property prices rose by 4% between January and June, according to government data, making the average property worth £105,000.

The number of residential property sales in the second quarter of 2014 was up 25% on this time last year.

Mr Hamilton said the market was "increasingly active".

"This steady upward trend is a further indication that the property market here is stabilising," he said.

"Notably, the increase applies in both urban and rural areas."

The figures are from the Northern Ireland Residential Property Price Index which analyses almost all sales including cash deals.

Peaked

Prices are now 10% higher than they were 12 months ago and approximately what they were in 2005.

The Northern Ireland market peaked in late 2007 and current prices are just under half what they were then.

The latest figures state the average price of a detached property as £162,000.

A typical semi is worth £104,000, a terraced house £72,000 and an apartment £84,000.

Price growth over the past year has been greatest in Belfast (10%) and its surrounding areas (12%).

Mr Hamilton said: "Today's report shows further encouraging signs that the housing market in Northern Ireland is a much more normalised picture.

"This is particularly good news for first-time purchasers and those who are seeking to move up and secure value for money in a much more stable market."

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