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Home » Northern Ireland Housing Market Ekes Out Gains Amid UK-Wide Slide

Northern Ireland Housing Market Ekes Out Gains Amid UK-Wide Slide

Northern Ireland was one of only three regions of the UK to record an increase in annual house prices last month, according to Halifax.

The building society said the average price of a residential property in the province stood at £186,856 in June, an increase of 0.2% on the same month in June 2022. Yorkshire and Humberside saw a similar percentage increase while the West Midlands recorded a 1.5% increase.

However, the picture was not as positive in other regions with the average UK house price falling by 2.6% on an annual basis, the fastest rate in 12 years.

Leading the decline is the south east of England where average prices fell 3%, while other notable falls were also recorded in London (down 2.6%), Wales (down 1.8%) and in Scotland (down 0.1%).

Kim Kinnaird, Director, Halifax Mortgages, said the sharp fall can be attributed in part to the historical highs reached last summer in reaction to the government’s cut in stamp duty, a comparison that may skew more recent trends.

“To some extent the annual growth figure also masks the fluctuations we’ve seen in the market over the past 12 months,” she said. “Average house prices are actually up by +1.5% (£4,000) so far this year, with most of that growth coming in the first quarter, following the sharp fall in prices we saw at the end of last year in the aftermath of the mini-budget.”

For Northern Ireland, anecdotal evidence suggests a continued lack of supply is underpinning prices with a lack of advertised properties coming onto the market.

While prices are holding up, Ms Kinnard said there are signs that rising inflation and interest rates are impacting affordability, is are jitters around the wider economy.

“How deep or persistent the downturn in house prices will be remains hard to predict,” she said “Consumer price inflation is likely to come down in the near term as energy and food prices look set to reverse their steep rises, but core inflation is clearly proving stickier than originally expected.

“With markets now forecasting a peak in Bank Rate of over 6%, the likelihood is that mortgage rates will remain higher for longer, and the squeeze on household finances will continue to put downward pressure on house prices over the coming year.”

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