County Down coastal properties at a premium
The statistics in this report were supplied by Ulster University House Price Index in partnership with Propertynews.com, the Progressive Building Society and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive on a quarterly basis. The report compares sales activity from April to June 2021 with the same period last year. Read more about house prices in County Down.
Average House Price Now £207,977
There has been an overall decline across the county but semi-detached properties rose 11%
County down has a long and magnificent coastline stretching from the north of the county at Bangor and the Ards Peninsula to the south at Newcastle and Warrenpoint. No wonder that property in Co Down has always been at a premium.
Somewhat surprisingly — and despite demand — the county experienced a moderate overall decline in property values from the second quarter of 2021 to the same period this year.
The average cost of a house dropped from £219,893 to £207,977.
The exception was semi-detached properties which took a huge leap of 11.43% from £170,157 to £189,609.
In keeping with elsewhere in Northern Ireland, houses in rural areas also soared in value by over 13%.
The figures came as a surprise to UPS one of the county’s biggest and longest established estate agents.
Director Conor Cooke says UPS sales are up on all property types right across the county.
“We are registering more houses, sales are up, and viewings are through the roof compared to the same time last year,” he says.
“Stock levels are low because demand is so high. Apartments have suffered greatly because people want outside space. Demand is across the board, from first-time buyers to families wanting to move up and people wanting to downsize.
“Lockdown showed many people that their houses just weren’t working for them.
“Families realised their homes were too small and they needed somewhere bigger with an extra room for studying or working from home.
“Then there were people who realised their homes were too big and they weren’t using all the space.”
Remote working has also impacted on house sales in Co Down, especially in the south around Warrenpoint and Newry.
People living in the greater Belfast area for work are now moving back to be near families because they no longer need to commute every day.
Market Analysis of House Prices in County Down
Jonathan Collins, a partner in the UPS Bangor office, said north Down was experiencing an influx of people from England, also due to remote working.
He says: “The figures surprise me because in our experience most property prices have gone up by around 10%.
“We deal with the more affordable stock but the Bangor and north Down area has had large numbers of people selling big homes in London and moving over here where they can afford a palatial home and also bank some money and enjoy a better lifestyle.
“Semis are also in huge demand. In the second quarter last year a semi in Bangor West would have been on the market for around £145,000 and sold for £165,000.
“This year the same house is going up for around £175,000 and selling for £195,000. We recently had one which had 30 viewings in three days and sold for £15,000 above the asking price.”
Demand also remains high in south Down where John Thompson of the UPS Downpatrick office believes Brexit too has influenced the surge in sales.
He says: “After two years of Brexit uncertainty quickly followed by Covid lockdowns a number of homebuyers who had postponed coming to the market are now seeking to make up for lost time.”
The rugged splendour of the Mourne Mountains and surrounding areas is also attracting people from the rest of the UK.
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The full results will also be published in a 12 page section in the Belfast Telegraph on Saturday 21st August.