The Northern Ireland Housing Bulletin January – March 2017 is released

Date published: 08 August 2017

A report entitled “Northern Ireland Housing Bulletin January – March 2017” was published today by the Department for Communities (DfC).

The Northern Ireland Housing Bulletin is produced each quarter by the Analytical Services Unit of the DfC. This Bulletin contains statistics on starts and completions, homelessness, the House Price Index and new National House Building Council (NHBC) registered dwellings sales and prices.

Key facts include:

  • The total number of new dwelling starts in Northern Ireland recorded by Building Control for January – March 2017 was 1,883, an increase of 16.2% on the same quarter in 2016 (1,620). The total number of new dwelling completions for January – March 2017 was 1,482, a decrease of 1.1% on the same quarter in 2016 (1,498).
  • In 2016/17, there were a total of 1,604 Social Housing Development Programme (SHDP) new social housing dwelling starts and 1,387 SHDP new social housing dwelling completions. The SHDP figures are sourced from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, and not Building Control. More detail on the definitions of starts and completions used by the two organisations is available in Appendix 1.
  • In total, 5,242 households presented as homeless to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive during January – March 2017, an increase of 1,490 (39.7%) from the previous quarter. The household types with the highest proportion of homeless presenters during January – March 2017 were single males (32.2%) and families (32.0%). The age group with the highest number of presenters for both single males and single females was the 26 to 59 age group, with 1,235 and 526 presenters respectively.
  • The number of households accepted by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive as full duty applicants for the quarter January - March was 3,221, an increase (34.7%) on the previous quarter (2,392). The most common reasons reported by full duty applicants for their current situation was that their accommodation was not reasonable (1,052) or they were experiencing a sharing breakdown or family dispute (568). A full duty applicant is an applicant considered by the Housing Executive to be eligible, homeless (or threatened with homelessness), in priority need and unintentionally homeless, to whom the Housing Executive owes full housing duty.
  • During the quarter ending March 2017, 252 (provisional figure) new National House Building Council (NHBC) registered dwellings were sold, a decrease of 23.9% compared with the same period in 2016 (331).
  • The average price of NHBC-registered new dwellings for the quarter ending March 2017 was £161,800 (provisional figure), an increase of 1.8% on the previous quarter (£159,000).

Section 3 of the Quarterly Housing Bulletin includes information on the Northern Ireland House Price Index that was released by Land and Property Services in May 2017:

  • The Northern Ireland House Price Index (HPI) in Quarter 1 (January - March) 2017 stands at 111.8 (Q1 2015=100).
  • Between Quarter 1 2016 and Quarter 1 2017, the HPI increased by 4.3%.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Northern Ireland Housing Bulletin is produced each quarter by the Analytical Services Unit of the Department for Communities. It contains information on starts and completions, homelessness, the House Price Index and new house sales and prices. Provisional and revised figures are indicated by (P) and (R) respectively.
  2. Building Control New Dwelling Starts and Completions data (table 1.1 and 1.2) are sourced from Building Control offices linked to the local councils via Land and Property Services (LPS).  The starts and completions data for the social sector in tables 1.3 and 1.4 continue to be sourced from the NIHE which manages the Social Housing Development Programme (SHDP). DfC is responsible for the allocation of funding for the programme.
  3. Statistics on homelessness are sourced from the NIHE. Where the Housing Executive concludes that an applicant is eligible, homeless (or threatened with homelessness), in priority need and unintentionally homeless it owes them full housing duty. An applicant to whom full housing duty is owed is referred to as a “Full Duty Applicant” – FDA.  In this case the Executive shall ensure that accommodation becomes available for their occupation. The Housing Executive can discharge its housing duty in one of three ways: by re-housing of the applicant in the social or private sector, by offering the applicant three reasonable offers of accommodation which are all refused by the applicant or if the applicant re-houses him/herself and is no longer interested.
  4. The Northern Ireland House Price Index designed by Land and Property Services provides a measure of change in the price of a standardised residential property sold in Northern Ireland. The index uses information on all verified residential property sales as recorded by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
  5. Data for new dwelling sales and prices are derived from transactions for new private sector and Housing Associations dwellings notified by solicitors to the National House Building Council (NHBC). 
  6. For the purposes of this bulletin, the terms ‘house’ and ‘dwelling’ are interchangeable and can be defined as ‘a self-contained unit of accommodation, having all amenities available to each household (own kitchen, bathroom, toilet) regardless of shared entrance.’ A ‘house’ or ‘dwelling’ will, therefore, comprise ‘either one self-contained household space or a number of non self-contained household spaces’.
  7. The bulletin is available on the Department for Communities website. Hard copies are available from the Analytical Services Unit, Department for Communities, 1st Floor, Lighthouse Building, Gasworks Business Park, Ormeau Road, Belfast, BT7 2JB; Telephone - (028) 9082 9255; E-mail asu@communities-ni.gov.uk
  8. The previous edition of the Housing Bulletin was published on 9th May 2017.
  9. The next edition of the Housing Bulletin will be published Oct/Nov 2017.
  10. Further enquiries should be addressed to: Analytical Services Unit, 1st Floor, Lighthouse Building, Gasworks Business Park, Ormeau Road, Belfast, BT7 2JB
    Telephone   02890 829222
    Email asu@communities-ni.go.uk
  11. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Communities Press Office on 028 90823505 or email press.office@communities-ni.gov.uk. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.

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