THE north’s housing market remains among the best performing in the UK, but there are signs activity is slowing, according to new figures.
The latest RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey shows that Northern Ireland maintained its position as the part of the UK with the highest balance of respondents reporting rising prices.
The survey further points to a rise in new instructions to sell, indicating that the supply of homes coming onto the market has picked up.
However there are signs that activity in the local market is slowing down, with new buyer enquires falling for a second month in succession and newly agreed sales broadly flat in January after a December decline.
In the short-term respondents in the north expect house prices to continue on an upward trajectory in the next three months, however the outlook for sales over the same period is subdued.
Looking further ahead and there is an expectation among surveyors that sales activity will be higher over the year.
RICS residential property spokesman in Northern Ireland, Samuel Dickey said Brexit is affecting the local housing market.
“Across the UK, Brexit is affecting surveyor confidence, and whilst sentiment in Northern Ireland has been stronger than other regions for some months, there is now some more caution evident in the market,” he said.
“However, whilst Northern Ireland surveyors suggest that sales activity may be lower in the three months ahead, they are much more positive when looking a year down the line, suggesting that they think any impact on the market from Brexit will be short-lived.”
Terry Robb, head of personal banking at Ulster Bank added:
“A lack of supply has characterised the Northern Ireland housing market in recent years, so a rise in new instructions is welcome and should provide more choice for buyers. Whilst it is perhaps not surprising that the wider environment is tempering sentiment amongst potential buyers at preset, surveyors in Northern Ireland remain confident about the market in the mid-term.”
Source: Irish News