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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Housing Bulletin released for July – September 2017

The Department for Communities has released the Northern Ireland Housing Bulletin for July – September 2017. The Bulletin demonstrates ongoing trends in several current policy issues, such as homelessness, housing supply and house prices.


4,643 households presented as homeless to the Housing Executive in this quarter; this is a very slight decrease of 0.2% from the previous quarter. The number of households accepted as “Full Duty Applicant” homeless was 3,061 – an increase of 1.5% from the previous quarter. The most common reasons for presenting, and being accepted as homeless remained the same: “current accommodation not being reasonable”, a “sharing breakdown/family dispute and loss of rented accommodation.

Housing supply

The statistical bulletin contains details on housing starts and completions from both Building Control and the Social Housing Development Programme (SHDP).  The way in which starts are categorised for these sets of figures differ.  Building control will set the date of a new dwelling start at the point on which the first building control inspection is carried out, while SHDP will date a new dwelling start on the date on which paperwork confirms that the site is in ownership of the housing association, that planning permission has been granted and that a date has been confirmed for a contractor to take possession of the site.

Building control recorded 1,723 new dwelling starts between July and September 2017; 1,525 in the private sector and 198 in the social sector. Building control also recorded 275 new dwelling completions in the social sector during this period, with completion date set as the date of the final building control inspection.

The SHDP recorded 101 social housing starts between July and September 2017 and 210 social dwelling completions, 174 of which were self-contained accommodation with the remaining 36 being shared units. 49% of these completions were new-build dwellings.

House prices

The average Northern Ireland house price in this quarter was £132,169. This is a increase of 3% from the previous quarter, but house prices have risen 6% in the last year.

The Bulletin shows that house prices have been steadily rising in Northern Ireland since winter 2013. However, prices remain significantly below their pre-crisis peak of £224,670. This means that there is still a significant tranche of Northern Irish home-owners in substantial negative equity. It is also likely that repossession actions will begin to increase significantly, having been stalled in the wake of an FCA review into “double-billing” practices originally raised by Housing Rights.

Homeowners who are facing Court action, in mortgage arrears or just struggling to keep up their payments should contact our Housing Rights helpline for advice by phoning 028 9024 5640; visiting our advice website housingadviceNI.org


Tagged In

Research, Social Tenancies, Policy


Frances McGrath

This article was written on 6 February 2018. It should not be relied on as a statement of the current law or policy position. For help with housing issues please contact our helpline on 028 9024 5640 or use our online chat service at www.housingadviceNI.org.