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West is still the second cheapest in city league

It’s a buyer’s market as new report logs prices

By Gráinne Brinkley

THERE  was some good news for prospective house buyers this week as a new report revealed that the average price of a house in West Belfast has dropped by almost six per cent to £105,121

The figures for house transactions in the first quarter of 2012 were revealed as part of the University of Ulster Quarterly House Price Index. The report showed that the average price of a terraced/townhouse in West Belfast fell to £67,257 in the first part of he year while semi-detached houses fell to £108,643.

West Belfast remains the second cheapest place to buy a home in the city, behind North Belfast where homes at an average of £86,051 are not only the cheapest in the city – but in the North.

Authors of the report –  Professor Alastair Adair, Professor Stanley McGreal and Dr David McIlhatton – said the weaker market in the first half of the year reflects a lack of confidence in the economy

“House buyers are still deferring decisions because of economic uncertainty, rising bills and concerns about job security,” they said.

Alan Bridle of the Bank of Ireland said: “There are pockets of improvement in this survey, with the average prices now better aligned to local household incomes. However, given the wider economic backdrop and the availability of discounted properties, the short-term risk is that the market will overshoot on the downside, as it did on the upside.”

The Housing Executive’s Head of Research, Joe Frey, said the figures confirmed that 2012 would be “another very challenging year, not only for first-time buyers, but also for many existing homeowners”.

“It is important that the government and the private sector work together to come up with some strategies to address the challenges,” said Mr Frey.

 

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