East Belfast has fastest rising house prices in Northern Ireland

House prices in east Belfast are going up faster than anywhere else in Northern Ireland – with an average rise of more than £8,000 in the last 12 months.

That’s according to new report which has identified the most thriving postcodes in the UK’s top 20 cities and revealed the areas that are out-performing the rest.

Unveiling its first ever Postcode Property Index, Barclays Mortgages said Belfast’s BT5 saw prices rise by 6.6% year-on-year.

It reported a rise in the average house price from £123,257 in July 2016 to £131,690 in the same month this year – an increase of £8,433.

The findings also illustrate that at a time when the national housing market is showing signs of cooling, individual postcodes around the UK appear to be bucking the trend.

Graham Bailie of Barclays Northern Ireland said BT5 has seen its house price growth significantly out-perform that of the wider city for various reasons, such as affordable housing, a number of good schools in the area and its position within a commuter belt supported by good transport links.

“It’s fascinating to see the individual postcodes where property prices are growing at a very fast pace, particularly in Belfast, where prices in east Belfast are outstripping the city’s overall growth,” he said.

The new report suggests that house price growth in the area is likely to be as a result of increased numbers of young families moving there and its village feeling with coffee shops, delis and traditional grocers and butchers ensuring it remains high on the list for potential buyers.

Johnathan Jordan, director of Online Estate Agent NI, said that properties in east Belfast “are flying at the minute”.

“There’s a shortage of properties, with fewer available, so demand is strong,” he said.

“Buyers are even coming from south Belfast and outside the local area – a few years ago that would never have happened.

“Ballyhackmore and the Belmont Road are cosmopolitan, trendy areas. There’s a buzz about the place and people are keen to live in such areas.”

Ryan Andrews, director of Reeds Rains, said he wasn’t surprised by the report’s findings.

“The schooling in BT4/5 is very good, with primary schools being particularly strong,” he said.

“Also, the east of the city is good value when compared to the south or south-east, and there is an abundance of period or traditional property which people tend to like.

“East Belfast has changed dramatically over the last five to 10 years.

“There are a number of exciting new eateries, shops – the nightlife has come on leaps and bounds.”

Samuel Dickey, partner at Simon Brien Residential, said that, while prices have gone up “right across Belfast”, BT5 “is particularly popular because of the Ballyhackamore area”.

Mr Dickey added: “There is an abundance of new eateries and the schooling is some of the best in Northern Ireland.

“And it’s not just family homes we’re seeing rises in, it’s investment homes as well.”

Neil Templeton, director of Templeton Robinson, said the “renaissance of local shopping areas in east Belfast” could explain the report’s findings.

He added: “Gilnahirk, Belmont Road and Ballyhackamore have all experienced this, and also have excellent schooling which is attractive to buyers. East Belfast has definitely grown in popularity, with more and more people looking to purchase there.”

Via: https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/east-belfast-has-fastest-rising-house-prices-in-northern-ireland-36358777.html

NI house prices to rise into next year as optimism holds

The Northern Ireland housing market remains in an optimistic mood despite the political impasse and Brexit fears according to the latest residential market survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Ulster Bank.

House prices rose in October according to the balance of local respondents, and they expect both prices and sales activity to increase in the three months ahead.

The headline price balance for Northern Ireland was +38% in the latest survey, meaning that 38% more surveyors said that prices rose in the past three months than those who said they fell.

The price expectations balance, at +31%, remains positive and above all other UK regions. Meanwhile, sales expectations data (+18%) is also the most positive in the UK.

However, data for newly agreed sales (-5%), new buyer enquiries (+3%) and new instructions (+3%) were all broadly flat.

Looking further ahead, Northern Ireland surveyors are also positive about the prospects for house prices over the next 12-months, in contrast to respondents from most other UK regions.

However, Northern Ireland surveyors continue to report that a lack of housing stock is a challenge for the market.

Indeed, new instructions to sell were broadly flat in October.

“We continue to see a relatively upbeat picture being painted of the Northern Ireland housing market,” said RICS residential property spokesman, Samuel Dickey.

“Surveyors anticipate that this will continue into 2018; albeit that there are some challenges for the market, including limited supply, alongside rising inflation and the fact that interest rates are edging upwards.

“What is clear though is that Northern Ireland’s housing market continues to display more positive sentiment than the UK average, with most other regions seeing both prices and activity flat or falling.”

Sean Murphy, MD of personal banking at Ulster Bank, said: “The latest Ulster Bank PMI indicates that the local economy continues to perform relatively well, with business activity rising and companies continuing to recruit new staff. “So, it is not surprising that the local housing market remains relatively buoyant.”

Via: https://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/business/ni-house-prices-to-rise-into-next-year-as-optimism-holds-1-8235675

First UK Interest Rate Rise in 10 Years

For the first time in more than 10 years the Bank of England has raised interest rates.

The official bank rate has been lifted from 0.25% to 0.5%, the first increase since July 2007 when rates hit 5.75%.

The move reverses the cut in August of last year – made in the wake of the vote to leave the European Union.

Almost four million households face higher mortgage interest payments after the rise, but it should give savers a modest lift in their returns.

Via: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-41846330

Average rents up 3.7% in Northern Ireland in the year to August 2017, latest index shows

Average rents across the UK rose by 2.4% in August compared to the same month a year ago, the highest rate of annual inflation since November 2016.

Rents rose fastest in the South West of England, up 3.9% compared to August 2016 and Northern Ireland with annual growth of 3.7% and only the South East saw rents fall, down by 0.2%.

The rise takes the average monthly rent to £939 but rents in London have increased by 2.5% year on year to £1,609, the latest HomeLet index shows.

When London is excluded, the average rent in the UK is £776, up 2.3% year on year with rents up in 11 out of the 12 regions of the UK.

The index report points out that August’s increase in average rents was partly driven by a return to inflation in the London market, where rents agreed on new tenancies £1,600 for the first time.

‘While we’ve often observed a seasonal uplift in average rents at this time of year, there’s evidence of a trend now emerging which points to a reversal of the declines seen over the early part of this year,’ said HomeLet’s chief executive officer Martin Totty.

‘Whether the recent strengthening in rents achieved, seen generally across all regions of the country, is driven by more robust demand or by some restriction of supply is hard to judge. Either way, landlords will only be encouraged to invest in property over other assets if they’re convinced they can achieve reasonable returns,’ he said.

‘If not, then the supply of rental properties could become constrained. Many landlords still face further increases in their costs and so will need to find a new equilibrium between their legitimate required returns and affordability for tenants. It seems the elements in solving that particular equation become ever more complex,’ he added.

Via: https://www.propertywire.com/news/uk/average-rents-2-4-uk-year-august-2017-latest-index-shows/

Northern Ireland house prices rise by 4.4% to £129,000 average

The average house price in Northern Ireland is now £129,000, official figures show.

That represents an increase of 4.4% over the year, according to a report released by the Office for National Statistics, the Land Registry and other bodies.

The north west of England led the way for house price growth over the past year, while London has seen the smallest annual increase across the UK.

Overall, average prices increased by 5% in the year to August, up from an annual increase of 4.5% in July. House prices were also up by 0.5% month-on-month, taking the average UK property value to £226,000 – £11,000 higher than in August 2016.

Via: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/northern-ireland-house-prices-rise-by-44-to-129000-average-36238272.html