Average house price locally is £122,878

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THE average house price on the North Coast is now £122,878.

The overall picture is similar to other regions in the North and North West. The overall average price (£122,878) dropped by 4.5% during the quarter with the annual decline of 13.1%

There is again substantial variation by property type with terrace/townhouses (£92,639) increasing by 1.8% over the year and significantly above their low price structure recorded for first quarter.

Semi-detached properties (£138,375) have an average price that is largely unchanged over the year (-0.2%) but up by 6.4% over the quarter. Detached houses (£154,125) have performed less well down by 8.1% over the year.

Despite highly variable results across Northern Ireland, there are indications that some stability and even growth is returning to parts of the local housing market, according to the latest University of Ulster Quarterly House Price Index produced in partnership with Bank of Ireland and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

The number of transactions recorded across a network of estate agents for the second quarter of 2012 was 931 – reflecting a continuing low level of sales in the face of difficult economic conditions.

The survey showed that the overall average price of a house in the second quarter was £139,633, a slight increase compared with the average of £134,560 for the first quarter of the year. However, over the year the average price was still down by a weighted rate of annual decline of 2.4%.

The authors of the report - Professor Alastair Adair, Professor Stanley McGreal and Dr David McIlhatton - said: “While there is still considerable uncertainty and variation in the housing market, this latest survey suggests that price levels are starting to stabilise and indeed during the second quarter improved performance resulted in an increase in the overall average sale price.”

The variable picture showed that some types of houses had increased in price while others continued to decline. The Belfast market in general showed clear signs of recovery but in other areas house prices were still falling.

The affordability of housing has continued to improve, with 71% of the homes in the survey selling for £150,000 or less.

Alan Bridle, UK Economist at Bank of Ireland UK, said: “While a quarterly increase in the average price is welcome, there are significant variations across the region. I believe the steep market correction since 2007 has yet to fully run its course for Northern Ireland as a whole and I still expect that the average price in the survey will trend 5 to 10% lower over the next six to twelve months.

“The discounting of properties at the lower end of the market to encourage sales is likely to continue for some time and this will act as a drag on the overall average price.”