NI housing market on an upward trajectory in 2018 says survey

The latest RICS and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey for December shows that prices and sales activity continue to rise
Gareth McKeown

THE Northern Ireland housing market is set to continue on an upward trajectory in 2018 according to a new market research.

The latest RICS and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey for December shows that Northern Ireland continues to buck the overall UK picture, with prices and sales activity continuing to rise and further increases expected.

While the UK market continued to display a lack of momentum in December, with buyer interest edging lower and surveyors displaying a lack of conviction surrounding the near-term outlook for prices, the north by contrast appears to be entering 2018 on a firm footing. Northern Ireland respondents indicated that prices here continued on an upward curve in December, and local surveyors remain amongst the most optimistic in the UK regarding the near-term price outlook.

The number of newly agreed sales eased back last month according to the data, but local surveyors indicated that interest from buyers rose and they expect sales activity to rise in the near term.

The research indicates that a lack of supply remains an issue, with new instructions to sell broadly flat in December and enquiries from new buyers increasing over the month.

Looking ahead surveyors expect prices to be higher in 12 months, although there is some evidence of an easing in the overall expectation.

RICS residential property spokesman, Samuel Dickey said the survey indicated positive signs ahead for the market in Northern Ireland.

"Clearly there are some challenges expected on the political front, alongside a potential squeeze on consumers due to inflation and further potential movements in interest rates. However, despite some uncertainty, surveyors expect both prices and sales activity to be higher in a year's time.”

Sean Murphy, managing director of personal banking at Ulster Bank added:

"Clearly the Northern Ireland housing market enters 2018 with good momentum and relative optimism for the year ahead, and our own expectation is for good mortgage demand from home buyers, movers and those remortgaging.”

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