Northern Ireland ‘to see biggest UK house price growth’

Northern Ireland is predicted to see the strongest house price growth in the UK over the next four years, according to a forecast from PwC.

The financial services giant expects prices to increase by 4% by 2022, compared to an overall UK rate of 3.4%.
Northern Ireland experienced a steeper fall in house prices than other parts of the UK during the financial crisis.

Prices in the rest of the UK have passed pre-crisis peaks but in Northern Ireland they are still well below.
Even if prices do increase by the forecast rate, they will still be about 28% lower than the 2007 pre-recession average.

‘Better than expected’

The forecast also predicts the Northern Ireland economy will grow by just 0.8% in 2018, but should experience some improvement to 1.2% in 2019.

That is still well below the forecast UK average of 1.3% for 2018 and 1.6% in 2019.

“The NI property market continues to perform better than expected, with a positive balance between earnings and house prices,” said PwC Northern Ireland chairman and UK Head of Regions, Paul Terrington.

“However, prices still remain well below the peak level in 2007, and this gap is unlikely to close in the near future.

“We have also considered the effect of future interest rate rises, and believe that only around 11% of UK households would be immediately affected if rates increased.”


House prices are rising at the slowest pace for five years – but homes still cost £10,500 MORE than a year ago

House price inflation has fallen to its lowest level in five years, but buyers will still find that the average home costs almost £10,500 more than a year ago.

The price of the average UK home rose 2 per cent in the year to June to a new record of £215,444, according to the Nationwide house price index.

But this masked a continuing slowdown, with house prices expected to rise just 1 per cent this year and struggling London property sales dragging on the market.

Britain’s biggest building society forecast a ‘subdued’ property market in the near future.

However, patches of the UK are doing better than others, with house prices in the Midlands up by more than 4 per cent annually, while London fell by 1.9 per cent.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: ‘There are few signs of an imminent change. Surveyors continue to report subdued levels of new buyer enquiries, while the supply of properties on the market remains more of a trickle than a torrent.’

Figures show the cost of the average home is near record highs when compared to wages.

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Northern Ireland Property Prices Rise by 7.9%

According to the latest House Price index from Nationwide, property prices in Northern Ireland increased at a quicker rate than elsewhere in the UK within the first three months.

Compared to the same time last year, prices within Northern Ireland have increased by 7.9%. The average property price is now £137,965.

Wales also witnessed a rise in prices also. These prices rose 6.1% to £151,971 from the same quarter last year.

This increase makes Wales the second-best performing country in the U.K.

Northern Ireland tops the UK-wide property prices

In Scotland, prices rose 0.2% to an average of £144,250.

England has seen an increase of 1.9%, the average property price rising to £257,417.

Within England, a North-South divide has been apparent throughout four consecutive months. However, according to the report, this divide is narrowing.

“Over the past two years the Southern English regions have seen a steady deceleration in price growth, which is now running at its slowest pace since 2012,” said Nationwide’s chief economist Robert Gardner. “By contrast, the Northern English regions have recorded a gradual acceleration and recorded their strongest growth rate since 2014 in the first three months of this year.”

In the North of England, the average property cost is £163,138. The average property costs in the south of England is £331,047.

In London, the average price of a house is currently £473,776.


Northern Ireland sees strongest house price growth

Northern Ireland was the strongest performing region while London was once again the weakest with house prices down 1% year-on-year, The Nationwide House Price Index found.

Northern Ireland saw acceleration in growth in the first quarter, with annual price growth accelerating from 2.0% to 7.9%.

London continued to experience modest annual price declines, with average house prices down 1% compared with a year ago.

Annual house price growth remained subdued in March with annual house price growth steady at 2.1%.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “UK house price growth remained broadly stable in March at 2.1%, little changed from the 2.2% recorded the previous month. House prices fell by 0.2% over the month, after taking account of seasonal factors.

“On the surface, the relatively subdued pace of house price growth appears at odds with recent healthy rates of employment growth, a modest pick-up in wage growth and historically low borrowing costs.

“However, consumer confidence has remained subdued, due to the ongoing squeeze on household finances as wage growth continues to lag behind increases in the cost of living.

“Looking ahead, much will depend on how broader economic conditions evolve, especially in the labour market, but also with respect to interest rates. Subdued economic activity and the ongoing squeeze on household budgets is likely to continue to exert a modest drag on housing market activity and house price growth this year.

“But historically low unemployment and mortgage interest rates together with the lack of properties on the market is likely to provide some support for house prices. Overall, we expect house prices to be broadly flat, with a marginal gain of around 1% over the course of 2018.”

Wales saw a pick-up in annual house price growth, from 3.3% in the year to Q4 2017 to 6.1% in Q1 2018. But conditions remained more subdued in Scotland, where prices were essentially unchanged compared with a year ago.

The West Midlands, the top performing region in 2017, had the strongest price growth amongst the English regions, with prices up 4.9% year-on-year.

Average house prices in England increased by 0.9% in the first quarter of 2018 and were up 1.9% year-on-year.

Home ownership rates have declined across all English regions over the past decade. While the decline has been fairly uniform across regions, the biggest reduction has been in London, where the home ownership rate has fallen from 57% to 47%.

Jeff Knight, director of marketing at Foundation Home Loans, said: “The first quarter has been typically sluggish – typically a period when buyers and sellers contemplate their next move.

“While there is talk of a cooling London market and narrowing north-south price divide, let’s look at the bigger picture: prices are holding and, particularly for those first-time buyers, affordability remains an issue. Even with those benefiting from stamp duty cuts and low mortgage rates, the lack of supply remains the nagging problem.”

“It’s imperative more is done to support not only those seeking a first or second home but also those seeking rented accommodation to tide them over.

“Minimal choice, poor standards and unaffordable prices risk many feeling alienated in the market and in time will impinge future activity.”

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: “This is another example of what we have seen in other surveys and on the ground – of higher and still rising prices in northern areas in contrast with London and the south east.

“Prices in the latter are turning negative as buyers and sellers come to terms with new market realities.

“Fewer forced sellers and less dependency on mortgages means that the level of price falls is staying low. This pattern began in early 2015 in response to higher stamp duty, tax changes, affordability and Brexit uncertainty, despite lower interest rates and unemployment.

“There is a long way to go but if this price drift downwards continues, the north/south divide will continue to narrow, although there is no sign of any larger market correction at present.”


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.


Average house price rises to £211,671 as property market growth continues

HOUSE prices are predicted to grow by around 2 per cent across 2017, according to a report showing that property values continued to head upwards in July.

Across the UK, the average house price reached £211,671 in July – a new record for Nationwide Building Society’s index.

Property values increased by 0.3 per cent month on month and by 2.9 per cent annually. A year earlier, in July 2016, annual house price growth was running at a stronger pace of 5.2 per cent.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said a lack of homes for sale is helping to support house price growth – although he also said it could become more of a buyers’ market in the coming months.

He said prices are expected to rise by around 2 per cent over 2017 as a whole – “only modestly lower than the levels recorded in recent months”.

Mr Gardner said: “A lack of homes on the market appears to be providing support, with annual house price growth remaining only just outside the 3 per cent-6 per cent range, that has been prevailing for most of the past two years.

“This pattern looks set to be maintained in the near term. Survey data point to relatively sluggish levels of new buyer inquiries, but at the same time surveyors report that relatively few properties are coming on to the market.”

Mr Gardner said ultimately housing market developments will depend on wider economic performance.

He said: “While employment growth has remained relatively robust, household budgets are coming under pressure as wage growth is failing to keep up with the rising cost of living.

“This suggests that housing market activity is likely to remain subdued, with the balance in the market shifting a little further towards buyers in the quarters ahead.”

Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent and a former residential chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), said: “Fortunately there does seem an enthusiasm among serious buyers and sellers to get on with the job in hand.

“The current climate is also providing an opportunity for first-time buyers at least to better compete for smaller properties.”