August provided a strong end to a positive summer for the local housing market, according to the latest RICS and Ulster Bank Housing Market Survey for Northern Ireland.
The survey’s price balance for August 2013 was the highest since July 2007, and it was the first time in six years that the survey reported three consecutive months of a positive price balance – indicating that prices were rising.
There were also strong statistics for transactions and transaction expectations.
A net balance of 57 per cent of surveyors said that transactions rose during the past three months, June, July and August), the highest in four years.
A net balance of 43 per cent expect transactions to continuing rising in the next three months of September, October and November.
Surveyors were less upbeat about price expectations, with a net balance of seven per cent. In all 93 per cent said that they expect prices to remain the same in the September, October and November period, with the other seven per cent said that they expect prices to rise.)
“Clearly it was a positive summer for the housing market, with the survey pointing to rising prices and rising transaction volumes in June, July and August,” said RICS Northern Ireland housing spokesman, Tom McClelland.
“Whether this sunny disposition can be sustained into the autumnal months remains to be seen.
“But we remain of the view that although there will inevitably be seasonal variations and bumps along the way, the market remains on course for a general improvement over the year as a whole.”
Derek Wilson, head of Lending Products at Ulster Bank, said: “There is continuing evidence that confidence in the housing market is increasing and we want to continue playing our part in supporting further demand and growth.
“Our latest mortgage campaign includes rates cut, new products introduced, zero arrangement fee options offered and exclusive new deals for first time buyers.”
The RICS housing market survey is the longest running monthly survey of house prices across the province and the rest of the UK, collecting data since January 1978.
It is cited by the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee (MPC) at its monthly interest rate setting meetings.