Number of properties on NI housing market down by almost a half from pre-pandemic levels

The number of homes for sale in the north is 44 per cent below 2019 levels.

THE number of homes for sale in the north is 44 per cent below pre-pandemic levels, with fewer than half of rental properties now available compared to 2019.

New analysis from PropertyPal said while activity in the local housing market has somewhat cooled off from recent spikes, it remains high, with a shortage in the supply resulting in more competition among both buyers and renters.

The property website revealed it's now receiving an average of 78 enquiries for every rental property.

PropertyPal recorded around 7,500 home sales during the third quarter of 2021, with 6,700 properties added to the market during the same three-month period, eight per cent down on 2019.

That left the total inventory of properties for sale in Northern Ireland 44 per cent below comparable levels in 2019.

The housing specialist's chief economist Jordan Buchanan said while third quarter (Q3) transactions were up by eight per cent on Q3 2019, sales activity is down 25 per cent compared to peak levels in late 2020.

“Price growth has also moderated over the last few months but still remains high, particularly for larger properties and across high demand areas in Northern Ireland,” he said.

PropertyPal's analysis put the average residential property price at £181,700 in the third quarter, one per cent up on Q2 and 7.3 per cent up year-on-year (y/y).

Houses averaged at £186,100 (+7.5 per cent y/y) with apartments selling for an average of £136,200 (+5.2 per cent y/y).

Price inflation has also filtered through into the rental market, with the average monthly rent for a house in Northern Ireland standing at £684 for Q3, six per cent up on last year and 1.5 per cent higher than in Q2.

Apartments are now renting for £705 per month on average, 4.8 per cent higher than last year and 0.8 per cent up on Q2.

Jordan Buchanan said the north's rental market is experiencing an increasingly challenging period from a tenant's perspective, with many unable to and secure suitable properties.

There were around 3,150 new rental properties listed in Q3 2021, 30 per cent fewer than the same period in 2019. PropertyPal said the total inventory of rental properties in Northern Ireland is down 51 per cent compared to 2019.

“There are fewer than half of rental properties available compared to 2019 and each property is achieving an average of 78 enquiries sent via PropertyPal - almost four times the three-year average,” said the economist.

“The market imbalance, coupled alongside the ending of economic support measures suggests a difficult period ahead for the sector.

“Whilst tentative, early signs indicate activity may be moderating as the rate of rental growth fell marginally over the last quarter. “

Ten out of the eleven council areas experienced rising rents in the last 12 months with the strongest appreciation in Ards and North Down (+11.4 per cent).

House prices over the past 12 months increased at the fastest rate in Causeway Coast & The Glens (+14.1 per cent); Mid & East Antrim (+12.4 per cent); and Ards & North Down (+10.8 per cent).

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