Slight rise in house prices

HOUSE prices in Mid-Ulster have risen over the last few months, but remain significantly lower.

The average sale price in Mid-Ulster of £105,225 is up over the quarter by 2.8 per cent but significantly lower over the year.

There are lower average sale prices across the main property types although there are differences between annual and quarterly performance.

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The overall average sale price for detached houses is £132,062, semi-detached houses £84,458 and detached bungalows at £123,556.

The latest University of Ulster Quarterly House Price Index for the first quarter of 2013, produced in partnership with Bank of Ireland and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, has recorded further improvements in the housing market which suggest a tentative recovery.

The survey covered 1,407 open market transactions from a network of estate agents, up more than 50 per cent on the same period in 2012.

The report cautioned that performance across Northern Ireland was still highly variable and the market remained vulnerable to shocks.

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The report’s authors - Professor Alastair Adair, Professor Stanley McGreal, Dr David McIlhatton and Dr John McCord - said in a joint statement that the first quarter survey provides further support to the argument that the housing market is showing tentative signs of recovery, however it is also apparent that the first three months of the year were difficult in many segments of the housing market because of factors such as the weather.

Alan Bridle, UK Economist at Bank of Ireland UK, said higher demand from both first time buyers at the new price points coupled with investors attracted by rental yields on some properties are reported as key drivers of increased activity, particularly in the Belfast market.

Prices were still variable at regional level trends, with some parts of Northern Ireland showing signs of uplift while others experienced significant falls.