The average cost of a new house in the Lisburn area increased by just under eight per cent over the past year, according to recent statistics.
Ulster University’s latest Quarterly House Price Index (April-June 2016) found a strong three months of sales across the province in the lead up to the EU referendum.
In Lisburn, the market recovered from a first quarter dip to an average price level (£189,397) more in keeping with expectations for the market area, recording a 7.8 per cent increase in average price over the year.
According to the report, the average price of a house in Lisburn dropped to £161,576 in the first quarter of 2016, but rose to £189,397 in the second quarter.
“Strongest performance is apparent in the detached house sector (£267,843) with a 7.3 per cent annual increase and also for semi-detached houses (£156,975) with a 6.9 per cent annual increase,” the report states. “Over the quarter strong growth is apparent across all property types with the average price of terraced/townhouses up to £142,891.”
In neighbouring Craigavon/Armagh, the overall average price (£127,910) also increased over both the annual and quarterly periods, with respective rates of price growth of 13.2 per cent and 10.4 per cent respectively.
“This improved market perspective is apparent across the differing property types, with terraced/townhouses increasing to an average price of £74,487, semi-detached houses to £117,425, detached houses to £185,501 and detached bungalows to £143,454,” the report states.
In Mid Ulster, the average price (£140,298) has continued to rise, maintaining the trend observed for this market area over the latter half of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016. This trend is reflected in a healthy annual growth rate of 9.2 per cent and a quarterly increase of five per cent.
“The current strength of the local market again appears to be driven by the detached house sector (£210,638), with the average price up by 25 per cent over the year, terraced/townhouses (£99,442) up by 20.2 per cent annually and to a lesser extent by semi-detached houses (£118,948) which have an annual price increase of 8.5 per cent,” the report details.
Ulster University’s figures reveal that the average Northern Ireland house price in the second quarter of the year was £158,528 - up from £152,629 in the first quarter. However, the report warns that the Brexit vote could impact on the market over the coming quarters.
The university’s report is produced in partnership with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and Progressive Building Society.
It recorded a high volume of annual and quarterly house sales and also highlighted an increase of 8.8 per cent in the average house price since the first quarter of 2016.
Research by the university suggests the province’s housing market is still affordable, despite the increase in average house price. However, it revealed the percentage of properties sold at or below £100,000 had dropped from 32 per cent to 26 per cent over the quarter.
The university said this reflects higher demand from first time buyers, which is driving up the average price of entry-level properties to over the £100,000 mark.
Semi-detached houses remain the dominant property type at 33 per cent of those sold, followed by terraced/townhouses at 23 per cent, detached homes at 22 per cent and apartments at 11 per cent.
The share taken by newly built property is 14 per cent, slightly lower than the previous survey but still indicates a steady supply of private sector housing development.
Lead researcher, Professor Stanley McGreal said the data “suggests a buoyant housing market in Northern Ireland with this strong performance reflected across each of the property types”.
“Terraced/townhouses at £102,197 have increased by 27.3 per cent pointing to a strong first-time buyer market facilitated by an increase in mortgage approvals for this demographic.
“The research is developed with support from estate agents across Northern Ireland, and most paint an optimistic picture about the market.
“However a number of agents expressed concern that the increased uncertainty stemming from the EU referendum may impact on the market over the coming quarters if purchase decisions are delayed. At the same time low interest rates are reducing the cost of mortgage repayments, which is making the property market more attractive.”