Business

Northern Ireland house prices continue on upward trajectory as expectations fall

House prices in the north remained on an upward trend last month, but the outlook for the market is less positive according to the latest RICS and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey
Gareth McKeown

HOUSE prices in the north remained on an upward trend last month, but the outlook for the market is less positive according to the latest research.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey indicates that house prices continued to rise in July, while enquiries from potential buyers also increased.

A total of 41 per cent more surveyors said that prices rose in the past three months than those who said they fell in the figures and the new buyer enquiries balance was positive for the 11th month in succession.

The positive market update is offset by news that expectations for prices and sales in the three months ahead have eased back from June.

This appears to be linked to a falling number of new properties coming onto the market, continuing to restrict supply, combined with some political and economic uncertainty.

RICS residential property spokesman Samuel Dickey said the results show market is in "reasonably good health".

"This week marks 10 years since the onset of the credit crunch which was followed by Northern Ireland's property downturn. Ten years on, the market appears in reasonably good health with prices edging up and evidence of good buyer interest, though average prices remain some 40 per cent below their 2007 peak. Today the key challenge for the market appears to be supply, along with some economic and political uncertainty.”

Managing director of personal banking at Ulster Bank Sean Murphy said there remains strong interest in the local housing market.

"The summer can be a quieter time of year for house buying activity, but we continue to see a strong flow of mortgage interest, and there is little indication that this will change significantly," he said.

"Buying in Northern Ireland remains relatively affordable compared with other parts of the UK and we see evidence that many people have a strong desire to own their own home."

The RICS housing market survey is the longest running monthly survey of house prices in the UK, collecting data since January 1978. The survey is cited by the Bank of England's monetary policy committee at its monthly interest rate setting meetings.

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