Largest quarterly fall for house prices in a decade

HOUSE prices in the North had the largest quarterly decline in a decade in the first quarter of 2023, according to the latest official figures.
The House Price Index report for the first quarter of 2023 also revealed that the average price for a house in Northern Ireland is £172,005.
The report, produced by Land and Property Services and the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency, revealed that between the final quarter of 2022 and the first one of 2023, the house price index decreased by 1.8 per cent.
However, prices were still up over the year.
The report said that the average house price was still five per cent higher in the first three months of 2023 compared to the same period last year.
Earlier this month, Enniskillen real estate agent, Nick Finlay of Montgomery Finlay, told the Herald the local property market would improve over the summer.
“The market here has stabilised and coming into the summer months a lot of people will put their properties on the market. Families will be looking to get moves done while the kids are off from school,” he said.
“It’ll definitely see an increase in demand and will give the property market more life at this time of year. It has picked up in recent weeks and is much more stable. The turnaround of properties is a wee bit quicker and the market is more buoyant than over the winter months.
“It was quieter over the winter period and the increase in interest rates made people uneasy. People have reassessed that now and found that affordability is still there.”
The average house price over the year in the Fermanagh and Omagh Council area was £158,172, the House Price Index report said.
There were large variations in the North’s council areas with £148,548 in Derry City and Strabane at the bottom of the house price figures compared to £204,122 in Lisburn and Castlereagh at the top.
However, last year also saw around 25,000 house sales, down from over 30,000 in 2021, the report revealed.
While mortgage holders will take a hit too according to Richard Ramsey, chief economist NI for Ulster Bank, who said at least one more interest rate increase to 4.75 per cent is likely this year.

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