Northern Ireland house prices slump by 10%

 

House prices have
slumped more than 10% in Northern Ireland over the last year and "lack
any movement" in the rest of the UK, official figures showed today.

Prices stood at £225,283 on average in March across the UK, a 0.4% decrease on the same month last year, following a 1% annual increase in February, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Analysts put the sharp 10.7% drop in Northern Ireland, taking average prices to £134,128, down to the market "normalising" following a period of rocketing prices before the financial crisis.

Ed Stansfield, chief property economist at Capital Economics, said: "During the 2000s house prices in Northern Ireland absolutely soared. This is the process of normalising."

He said Northern Ireland does not have the same level of support to keep prices up that London and the South East have from relatively buoyant employment conditions and strong demand for homes from overseas buyers.

A recent survey from Halifax into how homes in local authority districts have fared since the peak of the housing boom found that the nine worst performers were in Northern Ireland. Top of the list was Craigavon, where prices have more than halved from £213,844 in 2007 to £103,383 last year.

The Halifax study said prices in Northern Ireland were the highest in the UK outside London and the South East in 2007, but the gains it had experienced were "ultimately unsustainable".

The housing market generally is expected to remain subdued due to uncertainty over the economy in the midst of a recession and the crisis in the eurozone.

Lenders have been tightening their borrowing criteria and raising rates, making it harder for people to take out a mortgage.

The ONS figures also showed that England and Scotland saw price falls of 0.3% in the 12 months to March to reach £233,203 and £179,222 respectively. Wales was the only country to see an annual price increase, with a modest rise of 0.4% to reach £153,957.

London recorded an annual price decrease of 0.2%, its first year-on-year fall since October 2009, but it continues to have the highest average house prices, at £368,049.

The annual decrease in England was also driven by a 1.4% fall in the South East and a 0.9% drop in the North East, while the South West recorded the largest annual regional increase, with a 2.2% rise.

The ONS study said: "House prices continue to lack any real movement, with the current UK average price little changed from where it was at the beginning of 2011.

"This is with the exception of Northern Ireland, which has experienced strong falls in house prices since 2008."

House prices fell by 0.6% month-on-month across the UK and are less than £10,000 higher than January 2011, when they typically stood at just over £216,000.

Despite the flat market generally, prices paid by first-time buyers have risen by 2.8% over the last 12 months, to reach £170,109.

Estate agents reported a surge in interest from first-time buyers this spring due to a two-year stamp duty concession for this sector of the market, which ended in March.

Meanwhile, the average price for homes bought by existing owners decreased by 1.6% in the year to March, to reach £257,650.

PA

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Commercial Manager / New Product Manager

£33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Company mission is to be th...

Recruitment Genius: Software Tester

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Software Tester is required t...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Developer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: The Company sells mobile video advertising sol...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have a vacancy within our ra...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project