Average house price in Mid-Ulster £122,247


HOUSE prices in Mid-Ulster have went up by over 9 per cent in the last quarter, according to recent figures.

The average sale price of a house in Cookstown and Magherafelt now stands at £122,247, showing some signs of improvement in the local market.

Overall though house prices are still down on the previous year - by 4.3 per cent.

Sale prices of semi-detached properties in the area have been hit the hardest.

With an average price tag of £102,405, semi-detached values have dropped by 12.5 per cent since last year.

In contrast, detached houses, with a current average selling price of £149,507, have a significantly higher price compared to the third quarter of 2011 and are up over the last quarter by 5.3%.

Likewise, detached bungalows at £141,500 are up over both the year and the quarter.

While Northern Ireland has probably seen the worst of the housing market collapse, recovery will be slow and irregular, according to authors of the latest University of Ulster Quarterly House Price Index produced in partnership with Bank of Ireland and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

The survey for the third quarter of 2012 shows that the modest price rises recorded in the second quarter were not repeated, with a slight price decline in the latest survey pointing to a market that is performing unevenly.

The overall average price of a house in the third quarter (July, August and September) was £138,966, representing weighted declines of 3.6% over the year and 1.75% over the second quarter.

Professor Alastair Adair, Professor Stanley McGreal and Dr David McIlhatton, who conducted the research said the results re-emphasise that recovery in the market is slow.

“While there is some suggestion of improved price performance in parts of Northern Ireland and for certain property types, the overall weighted quarterly decline suggests that market sentiment is still to the downside,” they said.

The number of people buying properties has also been low with transactions recorded across a network of estate agents in the same period as 958.

A relatively low level of transactions reflecting the uncertain market conditions, according to the report.

It added that 41 per cent of houses in the survey sold for £100,000 or less, suggesting that considerable value exists in the local market.

Overall, 72 per cent of sales were at or below £150,000, confirming the improved affordability of housing in Northern Ireland

Alan Bridle, UK Economist at Bank of Ireland UK, said: “The UK and global economic backdrop for the housing market in general is likely to remain difficult, while all available evidence paints a more challenging picture for the Northern Ireland economy, especially for employment and consumer confidence.

“While there are some signs of encouragement, the reality in the short term is that local market conditions are likely to remain fairly subdued until there is a sustained improvement in the wider economic environment,” he said.