Criticism of Carney comments on NI property prices

By Christine Farrell

Experts in the Northern Ireland property market, among others, have criticised the Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney after he suggested that Northern Ireland had yet to experience a recovery in house prices.

In an interview with the BBC Mr Carney was defending the Help to Buy scheme and giving his views on the growth of the UK property market in general. Fielding a question in respect of the 'spiralling' increase in London property prices, Mr Carney talked about the need to make policy for the UK as a whole, but said that house values were beginning to recover "everywhere bar Northern Ireland".

Recent monthly reports have suggested that the property market in Northern Ireland has stabilised and in fact there is evidence of modest increases in house prices around the country. As such, economists and Stormont Finance Minister Simon Hamilton took issue with Mr Carney's view on property values in Northern Ireland, with concern that it would cause "unnecessary panic".

The average house price in Northern Ireland is said to have increased over two consecutive quarters, and house values had largely made back the losses of the early part of 2013, and in some areas surpassed them, by the end of the year.

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