Average house price in Lisburn Castlereagh amongst highest in Northern Ireland
New data has revealed that house prices in Lisburn and Castlereagh are amongst the highest anywhere across Northern Ireland.
The latest quarterly house price index report from Ulster University (UU) reveals a strengthened housing market. Experts say the data shows exhibiting sustained demand and ongoing steady price increases despite the pandemic and lockdown periods.
The UU research, which has been produced in partnership with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and Progressive Building Society, analyses the performance of the Northern Ireland housing market during the first quarter of 2021.
The report reveals an overall average house price of £205,365 in Lisburn Castlereagh which represents a weighted annual level of growth of 0.5% between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021. The only area with higher overall house prices was Ards and North Down which stood at £220,158 in Q1 2021.
Lead Researcher, Dr Michael McCord, Reader in Real Estate, Ulster University said the impact of Covid-19 had resulted in some notable trends in the housing market.
He added: “Particularly in terms of market psychology as buyers and sellers alike have evaluated their housing options and lifestyle choices.
“The final quarter of 2020 demonstrated heightened levels of market transactions, particularly for what was always seen traditionally as a quieter period of the year.
“This trend remains for the first quarter of 2021, with market activity and competition amongst buyers high and increasing and showing no obvious signs of diminishing moving into the second quarter.”
Elma Newberry, Assistant Director of Land and Regeneration with the Housing Executive, said: “This latest analysis shows continuing strong demand in the residential property market, with the highest number of transactions in the sample for some time.
“Relocation decisions by existing owners – to a larger home or a different area – seem to be a key driver of both the demand and the level of annual price growth, which partly reflects the current structure of the market. “However, the situation for those younger households and prospective first time buyers whose financial position has been impacted by the events of the last year is likely to be more challenging.”
Meanwhile, experts said that factors including the extension of furlough scheme, stamp duty holiday, and the introduction of government guarantee mortgages had culminated in a market characterised by ‘increased transactions, buyer demand and purchasing power’. The average price recorded during the first three months of the year was the highest since autumn 2008, according to the report.
Michael Boyd, Deputy Chief Executive and Finance Director, Progressive Building Society, said: “The positive analysis by the Bank of England of a rapid recovery in 2021 is also encouraging, as the UK-wide vaccine programme supports the re-opening of society which in turn will be a catalyst for consumer spending and economic activity.
“However, with the longer-term outlook dependent on a number of factors, including that all-important economic bounce, with the need for policies in place that continue to support businesses and employment, it is crucial that we see strong leadership maintaining our key foundations of political and economy stability.”