Northern Ireland average property price increased in March

The average property price in Northern Ireland increased to £127,921 in March - an annual increase of 3.8 per cent, according to Nationwide Building Society.

While property values throughout the UK showed an annual increase of 3.5 per cent, the figures show that on a monthly basis they declined by 0.3 per cent, the first time they have dropped in over 2 years. Jeremy Duncombe of Legal & General said that the monthly dip in house prices should not be "cause for panic", but suggests the real concern should be "the growing gap between supply and demand". He says that the UK property market is being hindered by a lack of affordable properties, the stamp duty land tax, and planning challenges.

The statistics suggest that property price fluctuations throughout the UK are largely evenly-spread, with the 6.8 percentage points between the strongest and weakest house price growth being the smallest gap in nearly 40 years. Some experts have suggested that the areas with the historically strongest growth in property prices have experienced a slow down as affordability is already stretched. The ration of average house prices to average earnings increased to 5.89 in March. By contrast, in areas such as Northern Ireland were the ratio is lower, there is still room for property prices to increase.

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