Explore options to avoid housing squeeze, says Co-Ownership chief

Mark Graham, chief executive of Home Ownership.
Mark Graham, chief executive of Home Ownership.

Mid and East Antrim residents are being encouraged to explore their options to avoid being squeezed out of the housing market.

Co-Ownership Housing - a not-for-profit organisation - says that whilst the housing market is becoming less affordable for many people, there are still options to get onto the property ladder.

House prices in the Mid and East Antrim council area rose 3.1 per cent between Q4 2016 and Q4 2017, according to the latest Northern Ireland House Price Index, published by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.

Mark Graham, Co-Ownership chief executive, says that this comes at a time when inflation is rising and people’s wages for the most part aren’t increasing.

He says: “Not only are we seeing house prices rise faster than the average wage, but a recent report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies shows that over the past 20 years homeownership among mid-salary 25-34 years olds has plummeted to 27 per cent in 2016, down from 65 per cent two decades ago.

“By and large, house prices in Northern Ireland still remain the cheapest in the UK. However, the broader issue is that wages in Northern Ireland are not increasing enough to meet rising house prices meaning residents in the Mid and East Antrim area, where prices increased by 3.1 per cent between Q4 2016 and Q4 2017, may find it difficult to get on to the property ladder,” Mr Graham continues.

“But we offer ways to help people buy a home. Through Co-Ownership a buyer can choose a property anywhere in Northern Ireland up to a value of £160,000 and purchase shares in that property between 50 and 90 per cent.”
More information at: co-ownership.org or 02890327276.