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
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
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

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + £40K OTE: SThree: Recruitment is a sales role and ...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'