09 Dec 2021

Derry house price rise the highest in the North

Property average climbs to a steep increase of nearly 21 per cent, dwarfing that of Belfast's

House prices

House prices within the council area of Derry City & Strabane District have risen by 20.69 per cent over the last financial quarter

House prices in Derry and Strabane have rocketed by nearly 21 per cent – the highest in the North of Ireland – according to latest figures.

A quarterly report from Ulster University's House Price Index show property price rises in the council area of Derry City & Strabane District leaping from an average of £123,525 in the previous quarter to £149,085 – a jump of 20.69 per cent.

The hike is significantly higher than any other council area in the North with the next highest rise being in Fermanagh & Omagh with 7.55 per cent.

Ards & North Down's prices rose by 6.21 per cent with Belfast only having a small rise of 3.55 per cent.

The Ulster University research, which has been produced in partnership with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and Progressive Building Society, analyses the performance of the Northern Ireland housing market during the third quarter of 2021 (July, August and September).

The report is premised upon 3,314 transactions and reveals an overall average house price of £198,821 which represents a weighted annual level of growth of 10.6 per cent between the third quarters of 2020 and 2021 respectively.

Where quarterly movements are concerned, the Index displays an increase of 2.2 per cent relative to the second quarter of 2021.

This growth remains driven by increases within the semi-detached and detached segments of the market over the quarter.

Lead Researcher, Dr Michael McCord, Reader in Real Estate, Ulster University said: “The main findings of this survey indicate a market which continues to exhibit increased trading up activity and price acceleration as a consequence of strong levels of market demand coupled with supply inelasticity.

“Entering into 2021, the market displayed strong resilience, with consecutive-quarter price inflation evident, driven by high demand and optimism.

“This buoyancy has continued within this quarter, with notable structural market dynamics and challenges starting to emerge, particularly in relation to the lack of housing supply.

“This, compounded with the volatile economic setting posed by the precarious inflationary environment, poses some challenges ahead for the housing market.”

Ursula McAnulty, Head of Research at the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, which commissions the survey, added: “The latest figures produced by Ulster University confirm the ongoing strong demand in the residential housing market during the third quarter.

“The number of transactions in the sample remained well above average, and average prices continued to rise as a result.

“In what is traditionally a quieter period for the housing market, that effect may ease in the final quarter of the year, but there is still some expectation of ongoing demand and price growth.

“However, as the cost of living increases, the situation for both prospective and existing borrowers may become more challenging as we look ahead into 2022.”

The figures for Derry will raise a eyebrow given the widening gap between home owners in the city and those still on waiting lists for social housing.

Last month, Derry City & Strabane District Council passed SDLP councillor Lilian Seenoi-Barr's motion calling for council to write to the Joint First Ministers calling on them to publish a programme for government, which includes a housing strategy.

Cllr Lillian Seenoi-Barr of the SDLP

At the time, Cllr Seenoi-Barr said: “Issues around accessing housing in Derry and Strabane stretch back decades and the whole of Northern Ireland is currently in the midst of a severe housing crisis.

“People are currently struggling to access social housing, prices in the rental market are spiralling out of control and many young people are unable to save a deposit to get themselves on the housing ladder.

“These problems are acutely felt in Derry and Strabane which has high numbers of people presenting as homeless, on social housing waiting lists and experiencing housing stress. We simply don’t have the housing required to meet demand.

“I’m glad my fellow councillors backed my motion on this important issue. We need to see a programme for government from our Joint First Ministers which prioritises housing.

“Everyone has a right to a home they can be proud of and they are currently being let down by those responsible for our housing crisis.”

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