NI house prices 'falling' in places


House prices are dropping in parts of Northern Ireland amid new evidence that the heat has finally gone out of the market, a report claimed today.

Even though overall growth last month still outstripped all but one other UK region, surveyors discovered a slowdown as investors look elsewhere.

Nearly one in 10 of chartered surveyors questioned for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Ulster Bank survey reported property prices fell by up to 2 per cent in May.

Experts said there are no signs of an imminent crash, however, and that the survey pointed to healthy, more normalised, growth.

Tom McClelland, the RICS's Northern Ireland residential property spokesman, said prices are falling back from the massive highs early this year.

"We are seeing a clear trend of slowing house price inflation in Northern Ireland as the current interest rate tightening cycle bites," he said. "However, in historical terms and in comparison with other parts of the UK and the world, Northern Ireland's current rate of house price growth is still very strong."

Out of all chartered surveyors who responded, 66 per cent still reported rises last month, with almost half by at least 2 per cent and nearly a third by more than 5 per cent.

Another 27 per cent declared prices remained the same. It was the second time this year that chartered surveyors reported a dip.