Dear Barry

Ask Barry Image

Unless you've been hiding underneath a well-heated rock for the past few weeks, you'll have heard (more often than you cared to, I'll wager) that most of Northern Ireland has been in the icy grasp of 'The Beast From The East'.

Social media feeds were awash with school closures, weather warnings and snow pictures and it would seem house prices in the province and its capital have mirrored the cool temperatures.

Belfast saw a 0.1% decrease in its average house price between Q3 and Q4 in 2017 - a minimal drop that essentially equates to a price freeze, let's face it. The average price tag for a property in Q4 was £122,434, a slip in value of just £138 from Q3.

Northern Ireland overall performed only slightly better with a 1% rise in property prices between the quarters. They crept up from £129,177 in Q3 to £130,482 in the fourth quarter - up by £1,305.

I would encourage an optimistic take on the figures, as is my wont. Having rattled steadily downwards between 2010 and 2013, prices have clawed their way back to an upward trajectory since Q2 in 2013, one that has been maintained since then. 

Nearly five years of slow and steady growth is something to be applauded and welcomed. The last thing we need is another crazy housing bubble - we remember all too keenly the fallout when the inevitable happens. Gentle growth is sustainable and can be built upon.

Taking the rocky political landscape into account - both on a global, national and local level, I think we are weathering the storm just fine. Uncertainty abounds and in this climate, caution is king.

Buyers and sellers alike are battening down the hatches, warming their hands by the fire and waiting to see how the land lies when the storm clouds lift.

Image taken from NI Housing Price Index detailed statistics Quarter 4 2017.


What do you think? Should we be more worried or do you think it's good to see a little consistency in the market? I'd love to know your thoughts - let me know how these stats affect you. Email or join in the conversation over on Facebook or Twitter.