House price inflation remains strong in Northern Ireland compared with other parts of the UK, according to the latest RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey.
Local surveyors painted a reasonably positive picture of the residential market in the April survey with the balance saying that prices had risen in Northern Ireland in the past three months the highest of all UK regions.
Expectations around prices and sales have both strengthened and new instructions to sell also edged upwards in April indicating that the number of people putting their properties onto the market is rising.
New buyer enquiries also picked up after two consecutive months where the balance of respondents pointed to a fall in enquiries. Meanwhile, newly agreed sales were broadly flat last month.
RICS Residential Property Spokesman, Samuel Dickey (pictured) , says: “It’s a fairly positive picture at the moment in the residential market in Northern Ireland with surveyors indicating that prices are rising and expectations for prices and sales strengthening.
“It’s encouraging that new buyer enquiries rose again after seeing falls for two months in February and March.
“Anecdotally, the new homes market is performing well with strong levels of activity and as we approach summer, resales activity should pick up, although lack of stock remains a concern in some areas.
“Looking ahead, surveyors expect to see increases in prices and sales, so the outlook remains positive despite some uncertainty around the economic and political environments.”
Terry Robb, Head of Personal Banking NI at Ulster Bank, said: “As we move into the second quarter of the year, surveyors remain optimistic that the relatively positive start to 2018 will be maintained; albeit that the lack of supply clearly remains a challenge. 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.”
The main findings of the survey were
- The headline price balance for Northern Ireland was +51% in the latest survey, meaning that 51% more surveyors said the prices rose in the past three months than those who said they fell.
- Northern Ireland remains the region with the highest reading in the UK.
- The price expectations balance at 40% remains positive and above all other regions while sales expectations data at +24% is lower only than Scotland.
- Newly agreed sales just reached positive territory with +1% surveyors saying that they had seen more newly agreed sales compared with last month. There was an increase in new buyer enquiries to +28% and new instructions to sell rose to +23%.
- Expected changes in prices over the next 12 months were +23% while the balance of those surveyed who said they expected a change in sales was similar to the previous month at +24% (+25%)