NI house prices continue to rise


THE upsurge of violence in Northern Ireland has failed to stem soaring house prices in some areas, according to local estate agents.

Property experts say they are looking forward to another surge in 1997 after it was revealed house prices rose by up to 30 per cent last year - with south Belfast and east Antrim showing the biggest increases.

Mr Mark Maguire, of Belfast agents Mark Maguire & Co, said part of the reason was a continued trend of buyers from Britain.

North Down still boasts the most expensive houses at an average cost of £58,243 - up almost 14 per cent during 1996. South Belfast prices rose by an average of 15 per cent. The fashionable Stranmillis area of the city has seen a 30 per cent rise, according to estate agents Patterson Millar.

Mr Colin Barkley, of Halifax Property Sales, said: "People have talked for many years about the resilience of the people of Northern Ireland - people do go on as normal, there is still the demand for houses and we are selling more and more."