Planners 'pushing up prices'.
FALLING workloads in the construction industry are causing house prices to rise sharply, it was claimed yesterday.
Estate agent Desmond Turley, a partner in Ulster Property Sales, blamed statutory agencies and planning services for the lack of sites available for construction.
He was commenting after a survey from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors showed there was a fall-off in total activity within the industry, with public and private sector experiencing the sharpest declines.
Mr Turley claimed there was a year-long waiting list for planning permission.
He said: "There is still a lot of land available but the statutory bodies are holding things up."
House prices in Northern Ireland have seen a 44 per cent increase in the last year.
That made them the fastest growing of any region in the UK.