Business

Momentum in north's housing market but supply remains 'key challenge'

The north was one of only two regions in the UK to report an increase in house prices over the last three months
Gareth McKeown

THE north was one of only two regions in the UK to report an increase in house prices over the last three months, according to new research.

The latest RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey has revealed that house prices continued to rise in the third quarter of the year and surveyors remain optimistic about the future, in spite of a lack of supply coming to the market.

A total of 44 per cent more surveyors said house prices rose, rather than fell between July and September, while 30 per cent more said they expect prices to increase over the next three months.

Northern Ireland was, along with Wales, the only regions in the UK where a rise was reported in the number of sales during September, but growth was relatively modest compared with previous months. It also remains the most optimistic region in the UK in relation to house sales in the final quarter of the year.

Despite the positives, new instructions to sell fell in September for the third month running, according to respondents. This indicates that the number of homes being put up for sale is declining.

RICS residential property spokesman, Samuel Dickey said the figures were broadly positive, but supply remains a "key challenge".

“The market moves into the autumn with some momentum and good demand. Northern Ireland and Wales were the only areas reported to have seen a rise in sales during September and while the growth is modest, expectations remain firmly in positive territory for the last quarter of the year. The key challenge though remains supply, with surveyors continuing to indicate that availability of stock remains a problem.”

Terry Robb, head of personal banking at Ulster Bank added: “Mortgage demand remains high and we continue to work to support buyers smoothly though the mortgage process."

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