Official statistics have shown there were almost 5,000 residential property sales in the last three months of last year.

Prices rose by an average of 4% in 2013, but growth slowed towards the end of the year, according to the latest Northern Ireland Housing Bulletin.

The Department of Social Development, which produces the quarterly bulletin, said the average price, covering all types of properties, is now £99,000 – which is still half of what it was at the height of the market in 2007.

The number of new dwelling starts was 918, a decrease of 17% on the previous quarter and 35% down on the same quarter in 2012.

The total number of new house completions was 2,045, similar to the previous quarter, but a drop of 15% on the same quarter in 2012

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