East Antrim housing market is ‘in recovery’

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The average house price in east Antrim is now £119,300, according to new figures released this week.

The latest Quarterly House Price Index, issued jointly by the University of Ulster, Bank of Ireland and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive indicates there is a continuation of the market recovery in the area, with evidence of stronger price levels.

The report, which takes in October, November and December 2013, shows the overall average sale price in east Antrim rose by 12.8 per cent over the quarter, but fell over the year by 6 per cent.

Meanwhile, semi-detached houses – the mainstay of the local market – have maintained their price structure with a 1.1 per cent increase over the quarter to £112,386.

Terraced/townhouses show a strengthening price structure over the quarter, though the average price is still significantly down over the year at £69,565.

And detached houses also showed a partial recovery in average price, up by 5.8 per cent over the quarter to £189,285.

Overall, the report highlights rising transaction levels across the province as a whole, which supports the general view of greater vibrancy in the Northern Ireland market. The number of transactions recorded by the survey rose to 1,758.

The average house price in Northern Ireland for the final quarter of last year was £132,922, a weighted increase of 2.7 per cent over the third quarter.

Although the average price was still down on a year previously, the report said the quarterly rise suggested that price levels were starting to respond to growing demand in the market.

The authors of the report - Professor Alastair Adair, Dr John McCord, Professor Stanley McGreal and Dr David McIlhatton – said: “A further rise in transaction volumes and evidence of rising prices in the final quarter of 2013 would suggest we may be witnessing an end to the effects of the lengthy downturn in the residential market in Northern Ireland, although there remain significant variations across the region.”