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Positive outlook for Northern Ireland property market

According to research, house price growth in Northern Ireland remains strong in comparison to other areas in the UK.

The findings from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey also highlights that enquiries from new buyers also rose after a two month decrease.

This report also states that estate agents were predicting house sales and prices to rise over the following months.

23% more surveyors expect prices to rise over the next year while the balance of those surveyed who expected a change in sales was similar to the previous month at +24% (+25%)

These results were issued shortly after Ulster University’s latest quarterly house price index.

It showcases a steady rise in house prices of 4% annually and an increase of 3.1% over the last quarter. This brought the average house price in Northern Ireland to £163,621.

This is a substantial increase from the last figures published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) which highlighted the average house price in Northern Ireland to be £130,484 in 2017’s fourth quarter.

The ONS statistics cover cash and auction sales.

RICS residential property spokesman, Samuel Dickey, illustrates that the results from the residential market survey is a positive reflection of the market: “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 at Ulster Bank, stated: “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.”

Speaking as the UU released its house price survey, Professor Stanley McGreal said: “These rates of growth, above the general level of inflations, can provide confidence to both home owners and potential purchasers regarding the value of their investments while still maintaining affordability in the local housing market.”

According to this survey, semi-detached houses continue to dominate.

Want to find out more about the Northern Ireland property market? Find more articles like this here.