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Northern Ireland average house prices now highest in UK

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by Elaine Frei
Northern Ireland average house prices now highest in UK

House prices in the UK added 1.1 percent from February to March, says the Department for Communities and Local Government, but the annual toll of house price inflation fell back a bit to 10.9 percent in March, from 11.8 percent in February. The DCLG index said that the average price of a home was at £206,890 in March. The average was £204,556 in February.

For the first time, according to the DCLG, average prices in Northern Ireland rose above those in England. This was explained by a number of factors, including more peaceful conditions, higher prosperity, and purchases by speculators from the Republic of Ireland who have been buying properties and pushing prices higher. The average price for a house in Northern Ireland was at £217,579, while the average in England hit £214,424. The average in Wales rose to £161,191, while it reached £151,468 in Scotland.

Analysts expect that house price inflation will begin to moderate as the year progresses, but most expect this to happen slowly. According to Howard Archer, at Global Insight, demand will likely decline due to the gain in prices, the fact that higher interest rates will make houses less affordable, and slow growth in disposable income.

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News posted: May 14, 2007

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