THE average house price in South Belfast has risen by almost £15,000 in the last few months, it has been revealed.

The Housing market in both wealthy parts of South Belfast and areas associated with deprivation is reasonably healthy, academics have said. Huge dwellings in affluent areas such as the Malone Road are continuing to be sold despite the ongoing economic downturn. Meanwhile in areas such as the Village and Sandy Row, interest is also high in properties both for sale and to rent.

The information has been established from the very latest results of the Northern Ireland Quarterly House Price Index published by the University of Ulster.

As usual, South Belfast houses are the highest priced on average than anywhere else in the North. In the second quarter of 2012 the average house price in the south of the city was £225,592, compared to £211,434 in the first few months of the year.

The news was not so good for North and East Belfast, where the average property price has actually dropped price has actually dropped since the beginning of the year. Dr David McIlhatton said that the local growth reflected the ongoing desire by many buyers to live in BT9 neighbourhoods, while the wider picture for the North showed “stability” returning to some areas.

‘For NI as a whole it’s a bit of a mixed bag, but we are seeing areas like South Belfast continuing to outperform others,” he said.

“The fact is that despite a battered market overall, people are still buying houses in desirable parts of South Belfast – the interest is still there, and that’s important to note. The average price for the area is also affected by sales in other parts of the south, which are not traditionally seen as ‘affluent’, but sales are continuing there – again reflected in the average price, which is ahead of any other part of Northern Ireland, where the overall average property costs £139, 633.”

Local landlords also have good reason to be optimistic according to Dr McIlhatton, who added: “The rental market is doing well here, with people wishing to be located close to the city centre, and the city hospital, while students of course are continually basing themselves there.”