Business as usual despite barriers- Traders in the Spencer Road area of Derry who expressed concern and anger about the erection of security barriers in the early hours of last Sunday morning at either side of the Waterside RUC station, this week met the police representatives and afterwards said they hoped it would be “business as usual” despite the barriers. Spencer Road is one of the Waterside’s main shopping thoroughfares and the initial reaction of the traders to the move, about which they were not forewarned, was one of anger. Although shoppers and people with business in the street will be allowed through the barriers into the zoned off area, traders felt business was bound to suffer as shoppers will probably be unwilling to put up with the inconvenience of having to pass through the security barriers.
‘Show of strength’ for Noraid - Two armed and masked men staged a show of strength to the visiting NorAid delegation as they travelled through Derry on Wednesday. As the 34-strong delegation toured the Bogside, two armed and masked men appeared on the Balcony of the Rossville Flats brandishing guns before making off to the cheers and applause of the American visitors. No organistion said it was responsible for the incident, although similar displays of force were carried out for the delegation by the IRA in the city in the past. Banned NorAid publicity director, Martin Galvin, who made public appearances in Derry for the past two years has so far not turned up and a spokesperson refused to say whether Mr Galvin would make an appearance.
Rise in house prices - There is good news for home owners in the Derry and Strabane areas. According to the latest report from the Northern Ireland Property Analysis Project there was a sharp rise in property values during the second quarter of 1986 compared to the same time last year. The increase of approximately 6 per cent was higher than average for the rest of the Six Counties (4.9%). However the average sale price in Derry and Strabane (£26,000) was below the Northern Ireland average of £28,753. All sections of the local housing market have strengthened with the detached housing sector being particularly bouyant, for example the average price of a detached house increased from £36,550 to £39,142 and detached bungalows from £28,212 to £31,869. There has also been a considerable recovery on the popularity and price of terraced houses with the average price now £16,592. Detached bungalows were the most popular with semi-detached bungalows and terraced houses also taking a significant share of the market. Newly built houses and those built post 1960 represented over two-thirds of all local property sales.