Good news for home owners in Northern Ireland!

Northern Ireland is predicted to see the strongest house price growth in the UK over the next four years, according to a forecast from PwC.

The financial services giant expects prices to increase by 4% by 2022, compared to an overall UK rate of 3.4%.

Northern Ireland experienced a steeper fall in house prices than other parts of the UK during the financial crisis.

Prices in the rest of the UK have passed pre-crisis peaks but in Northern Ireland they are still well below.

Even if prices do increase by the forecast rate, they will still be about 28% lower than the 2007 pre-recession average.

'Better than expected'

The forecast also predicts the Northern Ireland economy will grow by just 0.8% in 2018, but should experience some improvement to 1.2% in 2019.

That is still well below the forecast UK average of 1.3% for 2018 and 1.6% in 2019.

"The NI property market continues to perform better than expected, with a positive balance between earnings and house prices," said PwC Northern Ireland chairman and UK Head of Regions, Paul Terrington.

"However, prices still remain well below the peak level in 2007, and this gap is unlikely to close in the near future.

"We have also considered the effect of future interest rate rises, and believe that only around 11% of UK households would be immediately affected if rates increased."