Hopes for housing market boost as supply rises

Northern Ireland is currently one of the UK's strongest housing markets
Northern Ireland is currently one of the UK's strongest housing markets

Hopes of the housing market becoming more buoyant are rising as properties coming onto the market hit a four year high in May according to the latest residential surevy from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Ulster Bank.

A net balance of +25 percent of respondents to the May survey said that instructions to sell increased to the highest level in the past four years, indicating that more homes are becoming available for sale.

With new buyer enquiries also firmly on the rise, surveyors expect sales activity to increase in the months ahead.

This comes off the back of a strong month according to the survey, with newly agreed sales figures in the province the most positive of all the UK regions.

A net balance of +53 percent of respondents here said that the number of newly agreed sales increased in the month.

Northern Ireland house prices also continue to move upwards and local surveyors are the UK’s most optimistic with regard to the price outlook which is at its strongest since November 2015.

“Supply constraints have been the biggest concern in the Northern Ireland housing market during recent years, and that’s not a situation that is likely to change dramatically in the near future,” said RICS residential property spokesman Samuel Dickey.

“However, we are seeing evidence that more properties are becoming available for sale, and with buyer interest strong, this is translating into sales activity.”

“There are of course regional variations, and there are some notable hotspots.

“In east Belfast for instance, there is very strong interest and competitive bidding for properties in areas such as Ballyhackamore, as demand continues to outstrip supply.”

Terry Robb, Head of Personal Banking NI at Ulster Bank, said: “As we move towards the end of the first half of the year, it is clear that the housing market in Northern Ireland remains relatively buoyant.

“Surveyors remain optimistic that the relatively positive start to 2018 will be maintained and that sales activity will increase. Our own experience is that owning a home remains an aspiration for many people, resulting in strong mortgage demand, and Ulster Bank is committed to helping people take steps into home-ownership, to move home, and to remortgage.”