House prices rise but enquiries and instructions fall

The survey notes 'significant variation' in demand across the market
The survey notes 'significant variation' in demand across the market

House prices in the province edged upwards in August, and the trend is set to continue, according to the latest RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey.

Despite a softer demand backdrop, the lack of new sales instructions is a key factor driving continued growth in house prices.

New buyer enquiries dropped for the third time in four months, according to the survey, whilst new instructions to sell fell for the second month in a row. As a result, newly agreed sales fell back for the second time in four months.

RICS residential property spokesman Samuel Dickey said activity in the market may well pick up with the summer months having come to an end.

“Anecdotally, there seems to be significant variation in the market, with some areas continuing to see healthy demand, whilst others have seen activity tale off.

“There are perhaps seasonal factors at play, as well as an element of people taking a wait and see approach in relation to how the economy is faring.

“Recent economic data at a UK level suggests that the economy is performing better than expected, so we may well see sentiment in the housing market strengthen as we move forward.

“Certainly, in relation to prices, a very limited supply continues to the key factor in any upward movement,” he added.