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How house prices have changed in Belfast over the last two years

Eddison Wells is privileged to have an office in Belfast. As as Belfast Mortgage Broker we value the opportunity to go and have a coffee near the Salmon of Knowledge 'The Big Fish" and ponder life.

It is certainly no secret at all that house prices have risen to crazy heights over the past couple of years globally. Ask anyone around and you will probably hear the endless complaints of how hard life is getting and just how bad things are becoming over time. And rightly so.

In fact, according to current figures, in places such as the UK, the house prices increased by a margin of about 4.9% and 4.4 percent within a period of one year. Coming closer home to Belfast, things are no different at all. If you have been keeping a close eye on some of the latest figures relating to the Belfast house prices, then you are probably no stranger to the fact that they have surged quite a bit within the past two years to about 16 percent.

Although this seems to be a good thing to so many people and to an extent a blessing in disguise, quite frankly it is not. On the contrary, the leaping growth should be taken with utmost caution as it is more disquieting than it actually seems to be. In fact, Richard Ramsey, a Chief economist of Ulster Bank is of the idea that it would be so much better for Belfast and Northern Ireland in general if the prices grew by 5 percent or even less.

Commenting on the latest numbers, Richard Ramsey also implied that there is definitely a gap between properties that have been around for a much longer period of time and those that are newly established. Actually, according to him the price index for the Residential Property in Northern Ireland reveals that in general the average house prices augmented by 3.1% per quarter and 4.4% per year.

New Homes Prices

Even so, we cannot completely disregard the fact that if looked at closely the data actually reveals the existence of a two-speed market. With the average price of newly built homes rising at a notably elevated rate than property that has been around for a longer period of time.

Reasons for the Price Changes

So what exactly is bringing about the change in price for the houses in Belfast? Well, among many things the one thing that seems to cause a leap in the Belfast house prices is the fact that there is literally a plethora of newly built establishments that have come up in the past couple of years. And as we are all well aware, unlike the pre-existing and resell establishments that have been at a 10% high, the newly built establishments have managed to garner a bit more traction and hence recorded an 8-year high percentage of 25 percent.

Additionally, though interestingly strange, there has also been a divergence between the rural and urban areas with the rural areas averaging at 6.3 per cent while the urban areas maintained a 3.7% high. Which could be an implication that the urban areas are full to the brim and cannot possibly accommodate more people. But hey, that is not to say that the reason could not be something entirely different such as preference.

However, on the flip side, there is also the issue of the housing shortage that has in a way contributed to expensive rentals. In fact, according to the chief executive of housing charity shelter Campbell Robb, thousands if not millions of people living in the UK are forced to stick to a private housing that is a little bit more expensive simply because of the housing paucity. This, in turn, leaves them with little or no money to cater for other necessities and savings. And as if that is not enough, according to a 2025 housing report done by the National Association of Estate Agents and Association of Residential Letting Agents, there is a possibility that the price of houses in Belfast could increase even further to a whopping £ 190,000 in the next 10 years.

A prediction that has been reiterated by yet another prediction that forecasts a 27 per cent rise in rent from the current weekly average of about £ 134. Which is sad especially because rent prices are already at an all-time high level that people already seem to be struggling to keep up with. Although the situation seems isolated to Northern Ireland and more so in Belfast, that is not the case at all.

In fact, commenting on the matter, residential property spokesman at RICS, Samuel Dickey revealed that RICS forecast a 3 percent rise in house prices in the UK. A trajectory that would in a way be similar to that in the Northern Ireland as well. Additionally, he also added that 2017 would be a year filled with its own fair share of turmoil in as far as the economic challenges go as a result of the political events and supply not being able to meet the demand as is.

Looking at regional comparisons, on the other hand, one would quickly come to the conclusion that Northern Ireland is in a way playing catch up to a much higher degree as compared to other regions in the UK. After all, it has had one of the most magnanimous slumps ever seen in the history of UK and as we are all well aware, the bigger the plunge, the easier it is to see a gigantic boost.

By and large, with the way things are currently panning out at Belfast with the housing prices, it is safe to say that we should brace ourselves for turbulent times ahead as things seem to be moving from bad to worse. Meaning that even buying a house may not be as pleasantly easy as we would all wish it be. However, even with the challenges becoming, even more, many experts still insist that buying a house is a worthy investment that one should still venture into regardless of the current situation.