Craigavon house prices rise by 4%

THE average price of houses in Craigavon has risen by four percent, according to recent statistics.

At £111,418, the average price of houses in Craigavon and Armagh during the last quarter of 2012 is 4% higher than the same period last year.

According to the latest University of Ulster Quarterly House Price Index, this is ‘a considerably improved position’.

However, according to the report, performance is highly variable by property type with the average price of terraced/townhouses (£50,607) down by 6.8%.

This is in contrast to semi-detached houses (£97,017) which are up by 3.5% and detached houses (£204,998) which is up by 13.7% over the year.

The figures, produced in partnership with Bank of Ireland and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, has recorded an increase in the number of house sales, with signs of greater stability in prices across Northern Ireland.

The overall average price of a house in the fourth quarter – October, November and December - was £138,969, virtually identical to that recorded in the third quarter and representing a small drop of 1.4% over the year.

The price statistics are based on a sample of 1,357 open market transactions from a network of estate agents. This was a substantial increase in volume on recent reports and was the highest quarterly number of sales captured by the survey since the last quarter of 2007.

The authors of the report - Professor Alastair Adair, Professor Stanley McGreal, Dr David McIlhatton and Dr John McCord said: “The current survey demonstrates some encouraging signs for the Northern Ireland housing market, notably the increased volume of transactions which suggests that there is greater activity in the marketplace, and the overall price level which has held steady over the past quarter.”

The report notes the affordable price structure of housing in Northern Ireland, with 69% of properties sold for £150,000 or below. Some 38% of the total were sold at or below £100,000 and the authors say this suggests there is considerable value in the local market for buyers.

Alan Bridle, UK Economist at Bank of Ireland UK, said: “While transactions remain significantly shy of peak levels, the indications that properties are moving at their fastest rate in five years would, if sustained, sound a positive note for the broader housing economy in Northern Ireland.

“However, both price and activity trends are not uniform across the region with the market adjustment seemingly complete in some locations but not in others.”

The Housing Executive’s Head of Research, Joe Frey, said: “Further signs of a more normal market, and in particular the rising number of house sales, are to be welcomed. However, it is important not to underestimate the challenges that lie ahead in the face of ongoing labour market uncertainties.”