Northern Ireland’s big bubble is burst..

A UK nationwide survey of house prices in the Guardian reveals the size of NI’s burst bubble.

After two years of massive growth, a correction in Northern Ireland was on the cards in 2008, and it came when prices dropped by a staggering 34.2% over the year, according to Nationwide…Realistically one might expect Northern Ireland to remain the worst affected region in 2009, given the especially severe overshoot of house prices relative to earnings in the province during the boom years.”

What is the impact of this on the local economy ?

Update. A mixed picture for the crucial Christmas season reported today, with Debenham’s and John Lewis doing well overall but M&S about to cut 1,00 jobs. But is the Bel Tel’s story too negative? I would say not, but some in business would say yes. According to exchanges over at the local branch of the Institute of Director’s new blog NI Crunchtalk, the news is not all bad. Busness’s messages is: beware of excessive gloom!

Tim McKane

In reality a lot of families have more disposable income than last year, and are buying in a market of reduced prices almost across the board. Lower interest rates and lower fuel prices which are both impacting on retail prices, and the competition levels on the High Street further creating a shoppers market – are being stalled by he continuous news of potential catastrophe.

John McMullan

I do however think that it should be made clear when data is UK wide or only England and Wales. We can and do ‘buck’ national trends, for a series of reasons which may include 1/3 of jobs being public sector and a further 1/3 being underpinned by public sector spend, that if correct will have a dampening effect but not something to be complacent about, obviously. I do think we in NI have a particular and acute problem with falling housing prices…

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London