House prices in Northern Ireland rose at an annual rate of 6% in the third quarter of 2017.

The upward trend was also reflected in the quarterly figures, which showed an increase of 3% between quarter two and quarter three.

The house price index is now 19% higher than in the first quarter of 2015.

The figures are from the NI Residential Property Price Index, which analyses almost all sales, including cash deals.

The average standardised price, across all property types, was £132,169.

New builds

Derry City and Strabane and Causeway Coast and Glens saw the biggest annual rise in the third quarter, with prices up by 9%.

The smallest annual rise was in Belfast, where prices were up by 4%.

The number of deals completed in the third quarter was 5,453.

Ulster Bank economist Richard Ramsey said there is a big difference in the price growth of new builds and existing houses.

The price of new builds grew at an annual rate of 18.5% while the prices for existing resold houses were up 6% year-on-year.

Meanwhile other official figures show the number of new housing 'starts' in Northern Ireland increased in the third quarter of this year.

A housing start refers to the beginning of work on a residential property, such as the laying of foundations.

The total number of starts for April - June 2017 was 2,444, an increase of 19% on the same quarter in 2016.