Residential Property Price Index published
The latest Northern Ireland Residential Property Price Index (the Index) report records an increase of 3.5% over the same period last year. The Index measures change in the price of residential property sold in NI based on Stamp Duty data recorded by HMRC.
Prices increased by just 0.8% on the previous quarter (Q1 2019) and are still 39% below what Ulster Bank economist Richard Ramsey describes as the ‘freak peak’ (Q3 2007):
At dinner parties and barbecues prices remain the key metric when discussing the housing market. However, from an economic perspective, other indicators are more insightful. These include transactions and housing starts / completions. In relation to these measures, it is clear that a housing market slowdown is already underway. Residential property sales hit an 11-year high of 24,656 transactions in 2018. However, sales growth was flat with just three more sales relative to 2017. 2019 could well bring to an end the eight-year winning streak of transactions growth.
It is conceivable that consumer confidence may be hampered by Brexit uncertainty. That said, the Index reflects a reversal of the 0.8% decline of the previous quarter (Q1 2019) with year-on-year growth (+3.5%) showing NI outperforming most other UK regions as well as the Republic of Ireland (+2.5%).