Average house price up by 0.9%

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THE overall average price of £161,732 is similar to that for the final quarter of 2011, up by 0.9%.

Like other market areas, Lisburn is characterised by variable performance across the property sectors with detached houses £226,477 leading the market over both the annual and quarterly time-scales.

Terrace/townhouses £131,144 and detached bungalows £200,833 both show improved price performance over the past quarter.

The latest University of Ulster Quarterly House Price Index for the final quarter of 2012, produced in partnership with Bank of Ireland and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, has recorded an increase in the number of house sales, with signs of greater stability in prices.

The overall average price of a house in the fourth quarter – October, November and December - was £138,969, virtually identical to that recorded in the third quarter and representing a small drop of 1.4% over the year.

The price statistics are based on a sample of 1,357 open market transactions from a network of estate agents. This was a substantial increase in volume on recent reports and was the highest quarterly number of sales captured by the survey since the last quarter of 2007.

The authors of the report - Professor Alastair Adair, Professor Stanley McGreal, Dr David McIlhatton and Dr John McCord said: “The current survey demonstrates some encouraging signs for the Northern Ireland housing market, notably the increased volume of transactions which suggests that there is greater activity in the marketplace, and the overall price level which has held steady over the past quarter.”

The report notes the affordable price structure of housing in Northern Ireland, with 69% of properties sold for £150,000 or below. Some 38% of the total were sold at or below £100,000 and the authors say this suggests there is considerable value in the local market for buyers.

Alan Bridle, UK Economist at Bank of Ireland UK, said: “While transactions remain significantly shy of peak levels, the indications that properties are moving at their fastest rate in five years would, if sustained, sound a positive note for the broader housing economy in Northern Ireland.”