Release of official house price index in the North delayed due to staff shortages

THE release of the official Northern Ireland house price index has been delayed due to staff shortages.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released the full year results of the official government price measurement in the UK yesterday. It showed an annual increase of £27,000, taking the average UK house price to £275,000.

But the ONS had to use outdated data for Northern Ireland, relating to the summer period, which put the price of an average house here at £159,109.

Indeed, the release of the fourth quarter report was delayed due to absences from Lands and Property Services (LPS) staff.

The Northern Ireland Property Price Index is the official measure of the price development of residential property here.

The latest report was due for release on Wednesday, February 16. LPS said it was unable to confirm when it would be able to release its findings.

Unlike Britain, where the ONS tracks house price developments on a monthly basis, official data in the North is only produced on a quarterly basis and published around six weeks after the end of the period that she evaluates.

Meanwhile, data compiled by HMRC showed the northern property market largely returned to pre-pandemic levels in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Some 2,620 residential real estate transactions were recorded in December, almost the same level as in November, and up slightly from 2,300 in October.

This followed a massive spike in sales in September 2021 before the stamp duty holiday ended. The 3,960 transactions made it the busiest month for the housing market since June 2007.

September was one of the busiest months on record for the northern housing market.

Jacob L. Thornton