The number of house sales agreed during May fell slightly despite an increase in enquires from potential buyers and sellers according to the latest residential market survey for the province.
Published by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Ulster Bank the report says anecdotal evidence suggests the general election might have influenced buyers adopting a ‘wait and see approach’.
Backing that view, the balance of local surveyors (+23%) expect sales activity to pick up in the three months ahead.
However the data does mark the first time in nine months that the balance of local surveyors didn’t report a rise in newly agreed sales.
In terms of prices, the balance of surveyors (+48%) reported an increase in the May survey. Surveyors also expect prices to continue to edge up in the three months ahead (a net balance of +20%).
“Surveyors are reporting an increasing number of potential buyers and potential sellers coming to the market, and expect this to translate into increased sales activity in the months ahead, despite an easing back in May,” said RICS residential property spokesman Samuel Dickey.
“It is particularly encouraging to hear reports of more properties coming onto the market, which should help ease some of the supply issues that have long prevailed.”
Sean Murphy, managing director of personal banking at Ulster Bank said: “We continue to see a good flow of mortgage interest, in line with the latest RICS figures which show a rise in new buyer enquiries. Buying or moving home remains an attractive option for many people, as, despite rising prices, buying in Northern Ireland remains relatively very affordable. We see evidence that people retain a strong desire to own their own home.”