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.”