Governor of the Bank of England thinks Northern Ireland's House Prices Are Not Keeping Pace With Rest Of UK

Governor of the Bank of England thinks Northern Ireland’s House Prices Are Not Keeping Pace With Rest Of UK

Northern Ireland House Prices Not Keeping Pace With Rest Of UK

Mr Carney told the Andrew Marr programme that “if you look at the UK as a whole, everywhere bar Northern Ireland – we are now seeing house prices begin to recover”

On Sunday 16th February, the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney said in a BBC interview with Andrew Marr said that Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where house prices are not recovering, stating: “If you look at the UK as a whole, everywhere bar Northern Ireland – we are now seeing house prices begin to recover, so it is a more generalised phenomenon”.

However, Mr Carney’s comments provoked a backlash from Northern Ireland’s finance minister Simon Hamilton who reckons that Mr Carney’s remarks were at odds with analysis carried out by Stormont’s Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP).

Mr Hamilton posted on his Twitter account, “Doesn’t tally with DFP analysis. Never thought I’d have to correct a governor of BoE!”The Northern Ireland Residential Property Price Index produced by Stormont’s statistics agency and offers the most recent official house price statistics for Northern Ireland suggesting a modest recovery had begun in the region with quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year rises observed in the third quarter of 2013.

Property prices were up 2% quarter-on-quarter, the second consecutive quarterly rise and  up by 1% over the year to the end of September 2013.However, property prices are still less than half of their peak value reached in 2007 and still 9% lower than they were at the start of 2005.

Data for the last quarter of 2013 is due to be published next week.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) index also showed year-on-year increases for property in Northern Ireland in October and November 2013 and December data will be released this week, and it is widely expected that the latest data will show that house prices in Northern Ireland have increased over a calendar year for the first time since 2007.

Prof Neil Gibson from the Northern Ireland Centre for Economic Policy at the University of Ulster commented on the latest property data, stating “While Northern Ireland’s housing market recovery is behind other parts of the UK, the quarterly data shows that it is beginning to pick up, and he expects it to accelerate in the months ahead. We’ve seen the transaction levels improving and we’ve begun to see small increases in prices in certain markets – the greater Belfast area – much stronger than elsewhere. We can expect to see that continue during the year and we also have more banks lending and actively seeking new customers, so we should look for quite a positive year in the labour and in the housing market in 2014.”

What do Irish based property investors think about Mark Carney’s statement over property prices in Northern Ireland?

Is he right and the statistics are wrong or is it a case of the higher echelons of the UK ruling class not being in touch with the real world?

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