Over a hundred Mid Ulster householders, including 6 property millionaires, have been warned to prepare for a major financial headache when new rules force up their rates bills.
At present, a house with a rateable value of more than £400,000 is still assessed at the £400,000 level. In future, rates would also apply to the portion above £400,000, raising £4.5m for Executive coffers.
In total, the Mid Ulster district has 142 homes whose rateable value is more than £400k, with 5 between £900k and £1m, and 6 houses smashing the seven-figure asking price, which gives an indication of the enormous wealth still tied up in the local housing market.
The figures, which were revealed by the Department of Finance reveal a sharp divide across the province as regards house values, with most property millionaires clustered around Belfast.
While just 2 percent of Northern Ireland’s most expensive houses are in Mid Ulster, a staggering 86% are nestled in Belfast or Ards and North Down.
In addition, the true value of the properties is believed to be much higher as the current valuation list for domestic properties became operative on April 1, 2007 and is based on capital values as at January 1, 2005.
The most expensive house currently advertised for sale in Mid Ulster is a sprawling four bedroom detached house on the Moy Road, Dungannon, valued at £650,000.
Across Northern Ireland, there are 289 homes with a rateable value of £1m or more.
Belfast has the most £1m-plus valued homes at 128, closely followed by Ards and North Down (120).
Next is Newry, Mourne and Down (11), and Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon (8). while Lisburn and Castlereagh also has 6. There are 4 in Derry and Strabane, 3 in Causeway Coast and Glens, 2 in Mid and East Antrim, and just 1 in Fermanagh and Omagh. Across NI, the most expensive house advertised for sale is £2.2m Foxleigh Hall in Co Down.