NI house prices rise as buyer interest picks up

House prices continue to rise in the province compared with other parts of the UK, according to the latest Residential Market Survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Ulster Bank.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 10th May 2018, 7:00 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 12:31 am
Demand is expected to rise further over the course of the summer
Demand is expected to rise further over the course of the summer

Local surveyors painted a reasonably positive picture of the residential market in the April survey with the balance saying that prices had risen in Northern Ireland in the past three months - the highest of all UK regions.

Expectations around prices and sales have both strengthened and new instructions to sell also edged upwards in April indicating that the number of people putting their properties onto the market is rising.

New buyer enquiries also picked up after two consecutive months where the balance of respondents pointed to a fall in enquiries. Meanwhile, newly agreed sales were broadly flat last month.

“It’s a fairly positive picture at the moment in the residential market in Northern Ireland with surveyors indicating that prices are rising and expectations for prices and sales strengthening,” said RICS residential spokesman, Samuel Dickey.

“It’s encouraging that new buyer enquiries rose again after seeing falls for two months in February and March.”

Anecdotally, he said the new homes market was performing well with strong levels of activity and as summer approaches, he added that resales activity was expected to accelerate, though lack of stock remained a concern in some areas.

“Looking ahead, surveyors expect to see increases in prices and sales, so the outlook remains positive despite some uncertainty around the economic and political environments.”

Terry Robb, head of personal banking NI at Ulster Bank, said: “As we move into the second quarter of the year, surveyors remain optimistic that the relatively positive start to 2018 will be maintained; albeit that the lack of supply clearly remains a challenge. Our own experience is that owning a home remains an aspiration for many people, resulting in strong mortgage demand.”