Home buyers facing stiffer competition as north's housing stock dwindles

The latest survey from Rics suggests the number of new homes listed for sale fell again last month.

PROSPECTIVE home buyers in the north face stiffer competition and higher prices for new properties coming on the market.

A new survey conducted among Northern Ireland property professionals suggests the number of new homes listed for sale here continued to fall during September, pushing prices up further.

The research carried out the Royal Institute and Chartered Surveyors (Rics) and Ulster Bank, said the reduced choice for buyers resulted in fewer agreed sales last month.

It follows an in-depth report from PropertyPal last week, which found the number of homes for sale in the north during the third quarter of 2021 was 44 per cent below pre-pandemic levels, with fewer than half of rental properties now available compared to 2019.

The competition continued to drive prices up further in September, according to the Rics survey, with virtually every respondent reporting rising prices last month.

Most of the property professionals also said they expect prices to continue to rise over the next three months.

Rics spokesperson Samuel Dickey said the imbalance between demand and supply remains the most striking feature of the latest survey.

“And feedback from members provides little reason to believe this issue will be resolved anytime soon,” he said.

“The market continues to move from a very abnormal period during Covid. We would expect demand to ease back from the incredibly high levels earlier in the year to more normal levels, but the challenge is that there isn't the supply to meet even reduced demand and this is continuing to push up prices.”

Ulster Bank's head of personal banking, Terry Robb, said demand for mortgages remained strong throughout the third quarter.

“In our experience it was overall another very busy quarter for mortgage demand following on from very strong demand in the previous two quarters. Our buy to let mortgage has been particularly popular.”

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