Ulster hit by house price rise.
HOUSE prices in Northern Ireland are continuing to rise - while they are falling in the rest of Britain, it emerged yesterday.
The average cost of buying a home here has risen to pounds 119,261, exactly half that of London.
Both mortgages and rents are now only 50 per cent cheaper than in the most expensive area of the UK, according to the Office of National Statistics.
All the regions saw a fall in their annual inflation rate in December, except Northern Ireland, which saw a rise from 13.5 per cent in November to 16 per cent in December.
Ulster Property Sales boss Desmond Turley said there was more activity in the property market here than anywhere else.
He added: "Our market is healthy but you can still buy property that is good value.
"Affordability is still possible and first-time buyers are still being looked after."
Mr Turley said certain types of homes, such as Victorian houses, were sought after and that certain areas - particularly Belfast and North Down, were seeing strong demand.
Meanwhile, the average price paid by first-time buyers across the whole of the UK was pounds 145,408 in December, while the average price paid by former owner-occupiers was pounds 197,059.