£15million exchanged in Mid Ulster property market as house sales double

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House sales have more than doubled in the Mid Ulster District over the past year according to official figures.

The Department for Social Development’s latest Housing Bulletin, published last week, revealed that residential sales surged from 44 in 2014 to 107 in 2015, with the majority of sales occurring in the former Dungannon District.

Magherafelt reported the least number of property sales.

With the average Mid Ulster sale price now as high as £142,000 compared to £114,000 in 2014, an estimated total of £15m exchanged hands in the local property market last year compared to just £5m in 2014, which is an increase of 200%.

The huge growth has bucked the Northern Ireland trend of a small dip in house sales in 2015.

The annual number of NI sales stood at just over 29,000 in 2007. Between 2008 and 2011 the annual number of sales was approximately 11 to 12 thousand. From 2012-2014, the number of sales increased each year to 21,200 in 2014.

In 2015 there were over 20,400 verified residential property sales, which was 3% less than the number recorded in 2014. In 2015, semi-detached sales represented the largest proportion of dwellings sold (32%).

Northern Ireland’s property market is continuing to make a steady recovery, with prices climbing by 7% in 2015.

Finance Minister Mervyn Storey said: “I believe there is continued confidence in our housing market which is encouraging for the Northern Ireland economy as a whole.”

Property values are around 53% of what they before the market crashed in 2008.

“This healthy level of activity has now been maintained for the last two years and is almost double the level experienced in the years 2008 to 2011.”

He also pointed out it is “healthy” that property is more affordable.

In 2007, standard prices were nine times average salaries - today they are four times higher.