Storey welcomes signs of a balanced housing market

Date published: 17 February 2016

Finance Minister Mervyn Storey MLA has welcomed an encouraging period in Northern Ireland’s housing market with steady price growth combined with continuing affordability.

The Northern Ireland Residential Property Price Index (NI RPPI), produced by the Department of Finance and Personnel’s Land & Property Services (LPS) in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency (NISRA), is published on a quarterly basis.

This statistical research uniquely examines every sale in Northern Ireland using data from HM Revenue & Customs and from LPS. It is therefore a valuable and reliable source of information for everyone interested in the local housing market.

Commenting on the latest report, the Minister said: “The figures in the report for the fourth quarter of 2015 show a 1% quarterly increase in the Index – with small variations between property types. The analysis demonstrates that, viewed over the 12 month period, residential property prices have again shown steady progress, with an annual increase of 7%. The analysis at council level shows annual increases of between 3% and 13% across all district council areas.”

Mervyn Storey continued: “Importantly, in tandem with price increases, the market exhibits a healthy balance with annual earnings. Looking back on the figures for 2015, it is encouraging to see evidence that we have an affordable housing market in Northern Ireland with an improved relationship where prices are 4.3 times earnings in 2015, compared to 4.5 in 2014, and especially compared to the figure of 9.1 in 2007.”

Transaction volumes in this quarter have once again remained reasonably steady, with over 5,000 residential properties sold. The Minister commented: “This healthy level of activity has now been maintained for the last two years, and is almost double the level experienced in the years 2008 to 2011. I believe there is continued confidence in our housing market, which is encouraging for the Northern Ireland economy as a whole.”

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