House Prices Remain Stable As Consumer Confidence Continues To Rise Says Ulster University’s House Price Index

Northern Ireland’s housing market continues to remain stable entering into the first quarter of the year with evidence beginning to show consumer confidence increasing, according to the latest research from Ulster University.

Findings from the latest Northern Ireland Quarterly House Price Index Report (NIQHPIR) published today [13 May] shows that pricing levels for Q1 2024 have remained the same as across the second half of 2023, with the average price of properties transacting recorded at £206,754 during the first quarter of 2024. This reflects a nominal decrease of 0.6% by comparison with the fourth quarter of 2023, however an annual weighted price increase of 2.4% in comparison to Q1 2023.

Housing experts found that alongside stable price levels, there has been an increase in buyer enquiries over the quarter and signs of increasing consumer confidence due to the more settled mortgage environment and the reduction in mortgage interest rates from the second half of 2023.

The Quarterly House Price Index, produced by Ulster University in partnership with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and Progressive Building Society, analyses the performance of the Northern Ireland housing market during the first quarter of 2024 (January – March).

Other key report findings included analysis by property type which showed mixed price movements across the market sectors, as the market continues to adjust to the wider economic climate and financial setting.  In terms of quarterly price change, the terrace/townhouse and detached segments of the market showed small price increases of 1.5% and 0.2%, with the semi-detached and apartment sectors recording small price declines of 1.0% and 2.4%. Annually, all segments of the market except apartments revealed price increases. Overall, the annual rate of price change – which slowed over the course of 2023 – exhibits an unweighted increase of 1.7% compared to Q1 2023.

Introducing the findings, Dr Michael McCord, Reader in valuation, investment and finance at Ulster University, and lead researcher stated:

“The housing market over the first quarter of 2024 continues to remain at the same pricing levels observed in the second half of 2023, with house prices holding steady. The economic uncertainty felt across 2023 continues to show increasing signs of stability, with inflation easing to 3.2% and the BoE base rate remaining constant for three consecutive quarters. This has led to a more settled mortgage interest rate environment, and looking forward, there are signs of increasing consumer confidence and buyer activity in the first quarter of 2024. This price resilience seen in the housing market over the past year remains underpinned by the ongoing supply constraints and escalating rent price increases within the private rental sector.”

Ursula McAnulty, Head of Research at the Housing Executive, which commissions the analysis, said:

“Despite the ongoing pressures on household incomes, agents report continuing demand from prospective purchasers.  Perhaps surprisingly, the majority of agents – 85% – reported that the interest rate volatility over the last 12-18 months had only a marginal impact on demand.  In line with this, the research findings show that house prices have remained resilient, and in Q1 2024 were at similar levels to the second half of 2023.  Looking forward into quarters two and three of 2024, just over half of agents are expecting an increase in house prices.  This is at least partly because the current supply side constraints look set to be compounded by a projected downturn in new build completions in 2024, exacerbating the demand-supply imbalance.” 

Michael Boyd, Chief Executive of Progressive Building Society, said:

“A slight slide for the Northern Ireland housing market in the first three months of the year has revealed a wait-and-see approach by potential buyers as the interest rate environment continues to moderate. However, prices are up strongly on the year and with longer-term confidence improving, there is a growing feeling that the market is in for a buoyant period, particularly as the lack of supply apparent in recent years shows little sign of abating. Much will depend on the wider economic and political environment but there is little doubt that the Northern Ireland housing market’s foundations look solid.”

Looking ahead to the next quarter of 2024, feedback from estate agents reflects expectations of ongoing demand during the spring, which will likely continue to outpace supply. Agents have also reported that, in their experience, interest rate volatility over the last 12-18 months made only a marginal impact on the demand for housing, and the report also notes that higher interest rates and living costs appear to have had limited impact on house prices.

To read the full report findings, visit: Northern Ireland Quarterly House Price Index Q1 2024 (

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