House sales activity 'expected to moderate' says Rics

Gary McDonald Business Editor

NEW buyer enquiries continued to climb in Northern Ireland last month, despite a tapering off in the government's stamp duty holiday leading to a drop elsewhere in the UK.

Close to a third of regional respondents in the Rics/Ulster Bank's residential market survey in July say they saw an increase in enquiries from prospective buyers, and the number of agreed sales rose too.

But surveyors admit they expect the strong first-half sales activity to begin to moderate in the coming months as the pent-up demand from last year finally works its way fully through the system.

The survey also pointed to increases (some 91 per cent of Northern Ireland respondents reported a rise).

And while the upwards movement should continue over the next three months, it'll be at a slower rate, the surveyors believe.

A strong message from survey respondents is that buyers are continuing to place a premium on space with the prospect of a hybrid model of work being adopted by many organisations providing the opportunity for greater flexibility around location.

This is being reflected both in the challenge some current home-owners are having in moving up the property ladder as well in stronger price expectations from the Rics survey for larger than smaller properties.

It comes as a separate index from the Ulster University (reported on our news pages) reveals "an exceptionally busy market" in April, May and June, with the highest volume of sales transactions recorded in two decades - 4,138 compared to 2,829 in quarter one and just 570 in the same three-month period last year.

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