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House prices in the north continue to rise, but supply a cause for concern

House prices in Northern Ireland have continued on an upward trend according to a new survey
Gareth McKeown

HOUSE prices in Northern Ireland have continued on an upward trend, while sales expectations are the highest in the UK according to a new survey.

The latest RICS and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey for June has revealed that prices continue to rise and local surveyors remains confident for the rest of the year.

A net balance of 36 per cent of surveyors reported a rise in house prices over the last three months and the outlook is also positive with 31 per cent expecting an increase in the next quarter and almost three quarters of respondents expecting a price hike in the next 12 months.

Sales expectations remain strong in the north and at their highest levels since last summer, with 56 per cent of surveyors expecting to see an increase in the number of houses sold over the next three months. Over the next 12 months 62 per cent of respondents expect a rise in sales activity - the highest in the UK.

Newly agreed sales grew with 14 per cent of surveyors saying they had seen more newly agreed sales compared with last month.

Supply, however remains a cause for concern, with only a small increase (6 per cent) reported in new instructions to sell, compared to a more robust rate of new buyer enquiries (29 per cent). The latter though is down considerably from the level recorded in May (45 per cent)

RICS residential property spokesman, Samuel Dickey believes the local market has performed "relatively strongly" in the first half of the year.

"Surveyors also remain confident about the outlook, with the expectation that sales activity will rise and prices will continue to edge upwards," he said.

"Whilst the private rented sector continues to boom, we also continue to see a strong desire amongst people in Northern Ireland to own their own home. Having an adequate supply of good properties to meet this demand remains the one of the biggest challenges in the market.”

Head of personal banking in Northern Ireland for Ulster Bank, Terry Robb added:

"We continue to see a good flow of mortgage interest, and we expect demand to remain strong in the second half of the year. Buying or moving home remains an attractive option for many people, as, despite rising prices, buying in Northern Ireland remains relatively very affordable. We see evidence that people retain a strong desire to own their own home.”

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