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Northern Ireland housing market remains resilient

Simon Brien Residential Estate Agent is reporting significant market growth already in 2019 with a 21% rise in the value of houses sales for the first three months of 2019, when compared to 2018.

The statistics issued today by the Land & Property Services highlighted a reduction of 1% in house sales between Q4 2018 and Q1 2019. However, when compared to the same period last year, there was an increase of 3.5%, which positions Northern Ireland the second highest in the UK – and a 21.5% increase since 2015.

Simon Brien advised: “The last quarter of 2018 was very strong, and even with the slight decrease in Q1, Northern Ireland is proving itself a strong and resilient market. As has been the case for the past number of years, we know that demand is currently outstripping supply in the private resale market.

“In the face of the well documented Brexit uncertainty, we anticipate the housing market to remain steady as, in this market, there is a massive shortfall of new housing following the downturn of 2008 to 2013 when new house building virtually halted.”

John Armstrong, Managing Director of Construction Employers Federation, the certified representative body for the construction industry in Northern Ireland, echoes this point:

“Due to a variety of market factors, not least the lack of construction of new homes following the economic downturn, demand is currently outstripping supply – and this trend is forecast to continue.

“We estimate that to keep pace with demand around 9,000 new homes should be built year-on-year – and despite an upturn in construction since 2014, this figure is not being met, ultimately leading to increased demand as pressure is put on the supply chain.”

Another key factor underpinning the resilience of the market is the affordable level of housing, which is available in Northern Ireland, compared to other cities in the UK. The current Northern Ireland average house price is £134,811 compared to an average house price of £226,798 across the UK.

Average house prices in Northern Ireland remain about five times average salaries. This compares favourably in contrast with England and Wales where house prices are more than eight times averages wages.

According to Simon Brien, these factors are creating demand beyond these shores: “The affordable level of house prices and potential return on investment is proving attractive to investors – and whilst the market is still dominated by local private buyers – we are seeing more and more interest from buyers outside the market, who are attracted by the value and the average growth of 4% to 5% year on year.

“There is also an increased interest from Ireland and the rest of the UK, whilst buyers from Northern Ireland who have lived much of their professional lives elsewhere are choosing to relocate back with young families for the schooling, community and quality of life that Northern Ireland offers.”

The practice also advised that mid to high end properties are continuing to attract interest. From January to March, Simon Brien Residential saw a 57.7% increase in properties sold over the value of £500k, compared to the same period last year.

Simon Brien Residential is a market leading independent estate agency in Northern Ireland with four offices in South Belfast, East Belfast, Holywood and Newtownards – and over 50 staff.

For further information on the Northern Ireland property market please contact the Simon Brien Residential Press Office at Navigator Blue on +44 (0) 2890 246 722.

For further information on Simon Brien Residential please visit simonbrien.com