1 October 2014

Belfast house prices rising ‘as fast as London’


House prices have increased in Belfast at the same rate as London – with a massive 21% growth in the last year, says Nationwide.

The average property in Belfast is now worth £188,240, according to the building society’s House Price Index.

While prices have not risen as sharply across the rest of Northern Ireland, the province still saw a 10.2% increase in the last year.

House prices here fell particularly sharply as the financial crisis set in in 2008. Despite climbing strongly to £119,782 over the last year, they are still nearly 50% below their 2007 market peak – and miles off the UK average of £188,810.

Belfast remains the most expensive area, with the west of Northern Ireland the least expensive.

The north east had the weakest annual price change.

Across the UK, house prices fell back from a record high in September with the first month-on-month decrease in more than a year.

The monthly price decrease follows 16 months in a row of increases and ends the run of property prices across the country hitting fresh highs over the summer.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said “the outlook remains uncertain” in terms of the direction of the UK housing market generally for the rest of the year.

He said price growth may soften further and there have been “tentative signs” from estate agents that demand from potential buyers may be starting to cool.

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