Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland house price growth 'set to stall'

A sold sign outside of an out of focus house Image copyright Chris Ison/PA Wire
Image caption House prices in Northern Ireland effectively doubled between 2005 and 2007 before suffering a calamitous collapse

House prices in NI will rise by just 1% in 2017 and not at all in 2018, financial consultancy firm PwC has predicted.

Their forecast is based on actual transactions for the first four months of this year.

Official figures showed that prices fell by 0.8% compared to the last quarter of 2016, but were 4.3% higher compared to the same period a year ago.

PwC have forecast an average increase of 3.7% in 2017 nationally.

Looking forward to 2020, PwC's Economic Outlook forecasts that the average Northern Ireland property will cost £134,000, just under 9% more than the 2016 average of £123,000.

That is well below the UK average, where property prices are expected to grow by around 36% between 2016 and 2020.

A major factor pointed to by PwC is that real wages and household disposable incomes in Northern Ireland have been slow to recover from the impact of the financial crisis.

Conflicting predictions

However there is no consensus - in its most recent forecast the Ulster University Economic Policy Centre said it expects prices to rise by more than 3% in 2017.

The centre also forecast a rise of more than 2% in 2018.

House prices in Northern Ireland effectively doubled between 2005 and 2007 before suffering a calamitous collapse.

Prices bottomed out in 2013 and have been on a gentle upward trend since then.

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