Housing market analysis

Strategic Housing Market Analysis Reports (Published October 2022)

The Housing Executive is pleased to present its Strategic Housing Market Analysis reports for all of Northern Ireland’s housing market areas.

These reports, carried out by Mr Tony Dignan, Economic Research and Evaluation, were commissioned by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive in its role as the strategic regional housing authority.

The following reports cover all housing market areas and include a separate Northern Ireland summary.  

  1. Belfast Metropolitan Housing Market Area; comprises the local authority areas of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Ards and North Down, Belfast and Lisburn and Castlereagh. In addition, the HMA includes substantial parts of Mid and East Antrim (50 per cent in population terms) and Newry, Mourne and Down (36 per cent);
  2. Derry/Strabane Housing Market Areas; aligned with Derry City and Strabane District Council.; 
  3. Ballymena Housing Market Area and Causeway Coast Housing Market Areas; includes Mid and East Antrim (part), and Causeway Coast and Glens Local Authorities;
  4. Newry and Craigavon Urban Area Housing Market Areas; includes Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon, and part of Newry, Mourne and Down Local Authorities;
  5. Fermanagh, Omagh, Cookstown and Dungannon Housing Market Areas; includes Fermanagh and Omagh, and Mid Ulster Local Authorities; and
  6. A Northern Ireland summary report.

Housing Market Areas provide a spatial framework for Strategic Housing Market Analysis. Within that context, these reports may serve as an evidence base and set out projections of future housing need and demand. 

The main purpose of the reports is to assist policymakers in their understanding of the dynamics of these Housing Market Areas and to inform Local Development Plans.

The Strategic Housing Market Analysis builds on the previous use of the Net Stock Model by incorporating an affordability model that will, for the first time, make tenure estimates by local authority area for the following categories:

  • Market – those who can afford market rent or has sufficient income to enter and sustain home ownership.
  • Intermediate – those who cannot afford market rent but can afford more than social rent.
  • Social – those who cannot afford intermediate or market rent.

Links to all reports can be downloaded below.

COVID-19, housing and the housing market: synopsis of events and evidence to date, with a focus on Northern Ireland (published October 2020)

In summer 2020, the Housing Executive Research Unit set out to examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on housing, both in Northern Ireland and, more widely, in the UK and Europe. The resulting report is a synopsis of research findings, news reports, analysis and commentary collated over a number of weeks in June, July and August 2020 and based on the most up-to-date information available at the time of writing.  

Brexit and the Northern Ireland housing market

In recognition that Brexit is a complex issue that has the potential to have wide-ranging consequences for numerous day-to-day matters, the Housing Executive’s Research Unit commissioned RSM to scope the potential impacts on Northern Ireland’s housing market, based on data on current travel patterns, the housing market and perceptions of key agencies.

This research was intended to help the Housing Executive and other stakeholders to understand perceptions and plan for any possible housing supply and demand issues that may arise in certain locations as a result of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, and the research drew on existing literature, interviews with migrant groups and estate agents, a survey of social landlords and analysis of data on migration and the drivers of the housing market.  

The report was produced in July 2019, following research conducted earlier in the year. Therefore, additional data produced since spring 2019 was not included in the analysis. Furthermore, the study did not model the precise impacts of the different Brexit scenarios (such as ‘no deal’ Brexit).

Mapping Northern Ireland’s Housing Market Areas, 2018

We commissioned the 2018 Housing Market Areas study to enhance understanding of the concept of functional housing market areas, and to update the suite of 11 broad housing market areas (HMAs) that were originally defined in 2009 (see below).

About the report

  • The updated Housing Market Areas (HMAs) set out in the report are primarily intended to provide the Housing Executive with a spatial framework to support its analysis of local housing systems and its internal strategy development processes.

  • However, the HMAs should also assist local authorities to more clearly understand the broad HMA of which their local area is part. This in turn should help to clarify which local authorities should look to collaborate in planning for housing development across the broad HMA.

The mapping of Housing Market Areas in Northern Ireland was first carried out in 2009, and established eleven functional housing market geographies. You can download the report below: 

Following on from this study, a Belfast Metropolitan Area Housing Market Analysis pilot was concluded in 2011 and Housing Market Analysis reports for other areas of Northern Ireland were also published:

Migrant Workers and the housing market (2014)

In 2013 the Northern Ireland Housing Executive commissioned a study to examine the effects of migrant workers on two housing markets.  The research involved undertaking two housing market analyses, using these to compare and contrast the impact of migrant workers on the local housing markets of Dungannon and Larne district council areas.

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