Northern Ireland house prices head higher but upward momentum wanes

House prices in Northern Ireland are still increasing, but the pace of incline has slowed, according to the latest report from Ulster University.

It reflected high levels of demand with eager competing for a diminishing pool of houses for sale which has led to expectations for a continued rally into this year despite the widely flagged inflationary pressures.

The Ulster University House Price Index, which assesses prices reported by estate agents, climbed 8.3% in the fourth quarter of 2021 compared to the same time the previous year, a move which puts the average price of a house in the province at £198,890.

The increase has been driven by a thirst for larger houses with the price of detached properties climbing 12.1 over the year to £291,288, followed by terrace/townhouses at 5.8% to £128,496 and semi-detached houses at 4.2% to £176,018.

Perhaps surprisingly, the average price for an apartment climbed just 0.4% to £140,260.

“The latest price statistics show a market which has remained resilient to the wider political and economic circumstances in what is traditionally a quieter period of the year,” Lead Researcher Dr Michael McCord, Reader in Real Estate at Ulster University, said, adding that the pace of growth has slowed. “The analysis does show a softening in price growth in comparison to previous quarters – both in annual and quarterly terms – but one which continues to display strong demand signals, and allied with ongoing supply-side challenges, does not show any signs of correcting in the immediate future.”

Meanwhile, the report said Fermanagh and Omagh has climbed to the top of the league table of districts ranked by house prices.

Average prices there are pegged at £240,453 having climbed by nearly a quarter between the third and fourth quarters of 2021, according to the Ulster University House Price Index.

That is followed by Ards and North Down at £217,430, Newry, Mourne and Down at £214,123 and Lisburn and Castlereagh at £212,379.

“The latest figures produced by Ulster University demonstrate that the demand/supply imbalance continues to prevail,” Ursula McAnulty, Head of Research at the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, which commissions the survey, said. “Strong levels of demand and lack of supply have resulted in continued house price growth over the year – albeit at more subdued levels in Q4.

“This has been particularly acute in the detached market segment, with lack of stock having upward pressure on prices. Nonetheless, Q4 data does show a softening in house price growth.”