Surveyors point to upward trend in property values in April

Housing demand remains buoyant - but not sufficient stock in market to keep up with interest

The price of property coming to market jumped by just over £2,000 on average in January, according to a new report from website Rightmove
Northern Ireland saw an upward trend in property values in April, according to a survey by Rics

Northern Ireland continued to see an upward trend in property values but saw a slowdown in agreed sales in April, according to surveyors.

Some 66% of respondents in latest survey of property professionals by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said that prices rose over the past three months, compared to a UK average of minus-5%.

However, respondents suggest that home sales slowed in April as both supply and demand levels eased, though they still expect sales and prices to rise in the short and longer-term.

A net balance of 15% of property professionals reported new buyer inquiries falling rather than rising in April, which is more subdued than in recent surveys (it’s the lowest balance seen since October, when the figure was 7%).

Looking forward, a balance of 42% of Northern Ireland respondents anticipate that prices will continue to rise over the next three months while 86% expect prices to be higher in 12 months.

Samuel Dickey, Rics’ Northern Ireland residential property spokesman, said: “Whilst it is encouraging to see demand remain buoyant, there is simply not sufficient stock in the market to keep up with the interest. This includes the stock of both resale properties and new build homes.

“Delays in planning permissions have been cited by some respondents as an issue when it comes to the supply of new builds, and others have pointed to the ongoing waste water infrastructure deficit which means that some house-builders aren’t able to progress with developments.

Samuel Dickey.
Rics’ Northern Ireland residential property spokesman Samuel Dickey

“Respondents do remain upbeat though about the outlook in terms of both prices and activity, expecting both to be higher in the short-term and a year’s time.”

Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at Rics, added: “Feedback to this latest survey demonstrates the sensitivity of the sales market to interest rates at the present time, given the continuing challenge around affordability.

“A modest back up in mortgage pricing has contributed to the flatlining in the buyer inquiries metric over the past month, as well as the slightly more cautious signals around near-term expectations.

“That said, there is still a strong perception that activity in the market will pick up in the latter part of the year and into 2025, irrespective of any political uncertainty around the general election.”