Northern Ireland 'rents rise as house prices fall'
Rent prices in Northern Ireland have risen even as house prices fell, an independent rental website suggests.
A report by City Lets found falling house prices coupled with a lack of mortgage finance led to an increase in house rental prices across Belfast.
While property prices fell steadily from January to September 2010, rents rose by about 7%, said the report.
Citylets managing director Thomas Ashdown said economic uncertainty made people less likely to buy property.
"Demand in the rental market is very squarely underpinned now by a lack of availability or a lack of available credit finance or too expensive credit finance," he said.
"In addition, there are a number of people who would perhaps be in a position to buy but they are very wary about making the step on to the sales market.
"As a result, people are staying in rental property longer or waiting to see how the market is going to behave before moving forward."