After feeling the love at the end of 2016, do Q1’s price drops equate to a ‘Dear John’ letter?
The latest NISRA Northern Ireland House Price Index shows a 0.8% drop in Northern Ireland house prices between the last quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of this year.
That coincides with a 25% drop in sales (with our usual addendum that all these figures are usually revised somewhat in the next quarter’s report, once all sales and pricing data is finalised).
Again, as I said last week – the bigger picture must be looked at, and the honeymoon's not over.
HPI sits 4.3% higher in Q1 2017 than it did in Q1 2016. It’s 11.8% higher than in the first quarter of 2015 and 10.8% higher than Q1 2005.
The average house price in Belfast has performed slightly worse than the overall average, slipping 2.3% between quarters.
However, set in the context of a rocky decade and an unpredictable couple of years, again I urge optimism. Prices are up by 4.6% from the same quarter of 2016 (ie a quarter that was still pre-Brexit, pre-Trump!)
Look at the graph below – 9.6% higher than the same quarter in 2005 and 2015, and Belfast’s property prices have climbed (with the odd dip) by 20.4% over the past five years.
Maybe I sound like a broken record, but you don’t get a hotel-building boom in a city that is struggling. I believe the best is yet to come for the city’s property market – and we won‘t be waiting long.