Business

Northern Ireland's housing market showed signs of slowing in November

Agreed house sales and new instructions to sell fell between October and November, a new survey suggests
Ryan McAleer

THE north's housing market showed signs of slowing in November, according to a new survey out today.

The Residential Market Survey for Northern Ireland found that the number of agreed sales and new instructions to sell fell from October to November.

Produced by Ulster Bank and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the survey is based on the responses from property professionals around the north.

It found a sharp drop in the number of respondents reporting a rise in house prices during November, falling to the lowest level recorded since mid-2016.

The number of enquiries from prospective new home buyers also appeared to fall back between October and November.

The report found that while property professionals reported prospective buyers were still active in the Northern Ireland market, fewer sales were seen to be taking place.

RICS and Ulster Bank said the fact that fewer properties had come into the market appeared to be a factor.

Despite the apparent cooling within the market, real estate agents remained optimistic.

The survey found chartered in surveyors in Northern Ireland were among the most optimistic in the UK, particularly when asked about the performance of the market over the next 12 months.

Residential property spokesperson for RICS in the north, Samuel Dickey, said: “It is not surprising that activity is easing back as we approach the end of the year and price momentum is slowing, not least with the uncertainty that comes before a general election.

“However, the indications from respondents are that the new year will see activity increase and prices continue to edge upwards. Indeed, the feedback regarding both prices and sales in the short-term and medium term has strengthened.”

Head of personal banking at Ulster Bank, Terry Robb, said: “The easing back of housing market activity in November is in line with the wider economic environment as indicators such as the Ulster Bank PMI show that business activity for instance fell significantly last month.

“However, our pipeline of mortgage activity remains strong and we continue to see good demand from prospective homebuyers. This should translate into housing market activity in early 2020.”

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