Lack of supply pushing house prices upwards

Prices moving upwards
Prices moving upwards

The number of newly agreed property sales in Northern Ireland is rising at its strongest rate since last summer, according to the latest RICS and Ulster Bank residential market survey.

A higher proportion of surveyors were reporting increasing sales activity during April than in any other UK region.

Local house prices are also continuing to increase, according to the survey, as supply remains constrained, with new buyer enquiries continuing to rise at a faster rate than new vendor instructions.

Northern Ireland surveyors remain the most sanguine in the UK about house prices as the year progresses, with a higher balance of respondents expecting prices to rise across the province in the three months ahead than in any other region.

The forward-looking indicator for sales also remains strong, with a balance of 25 per cent of surveyors expecting activity to rise between May and July.

“Supply remains quite tight, with not a lot of properties coming onto the market, and this lack of supply, combined with rising numbers of people looking to buy is leading to rising prices, and the expectation of further rises in the months ahead,” said RICS Northern Ireland residential property spokesman, Samuel Dickey.

“Surveyors also expect sales levels to increase, but until supply increases, it is hard to see any further significant growth in transactions.”

A net balance of 56 per cent of Northern Ireland surveyors said that prices rose in the past three months, higher than all-but-one other UK region.

Derek Wilson, head of lending products at Ulster Bank, said: “April was a strong month for mortgage demand, and indeed demand has been rising steadily since the beginning of the year.”