House prices spiked by 11 per cent in Derry and Strabane last year

House prices in Derry spiked by 11 per cent over the past year - the highest increase in the North, according to the latest statistics from the Department of Finance's Land and Property Services.

The average price of a home in Derry City and Strabane stood at £108,464 in the last quarter of 2016 (Q4), which was still the lowest figure anywhere in the North.

The average house price across Northern Ireland stood at £125,480.

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The most expensive houses are to still to be found in salubrious Lisburn and Castlereagh (£149,600) and Ards and North Down (£145,206).

“The index for properties in Derry City and Strabane saw the largest increase over the quarter of three per cent,” according to the latest LPS House Price Index report, which was compiled with the aid of the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).

“The index for Antrim and Newtownabbey, Lisburn and Castlereagh, Mid and East Antrim and Newry, Mourne and Down council areas decreased over the quarter.

“All council areas showed an increase over the 12 months since Q4 2015. “Fermanagh and Omagh reported the smallest increase of 1.6 per cent, while the index for Derry City and Strabane was 11 per cent higher than Q4 2015,” it said.

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The new figures also show that across the North as whole apartment prices leapt by 11.2 per cent to £103,906 over the year, the largest increase of any property type.

The price of a terraced houses rose by 5.5 per cent to £86,207; the price of a semi-detached house rose by 5.2 per cent to £121,606; and the price of a detached house rose by 4.8 per cent to £188,791.

The Index measures change in the price of residential property sold in Northern Ireland (NI).

The index uses stamp duty information on residential property sales recorded by HMRC.

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The Northern Ireland House Price Index series is used as the NI component of the single official United Kingdom HPI and the statistics are comparable with other UK regions.

The data also show that the price of property has also been growing steadily against average earnings since 2012.

“In 2005 median house prices were around five and a half times a median annual full time salary, but by 2007, at the peak of the market, prices were more than nine times the median salary.

“With the downturn in the property market since 2008, the ratio fell each year until 2012. The ratio rose in

2014 and 2016 and the median residential property sale price is now 4.7 times the median annual gross full time earnings,” the report notes.