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Homes market in Northern Ireland steadies

By Margaret Canning

The steadying of the housing market is continuing, states a survey of property professionals.

In the latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors report, 43% of respondents said prices had gone up in the three months to october.

Just over half of the respondents said prices were staying the same – and just 5% said they were down.

Will Miscampbell of Belfast estate agents Fetherston Clements said he agreed with the survey's findings.

"We have been finding things are improving month to month and we have found competition for houses where prices are appropriate to the market.

"Overwhelmingly, we'd be positive about where the market is going."

But he said the market was "steadying and consolidating" rather than experiencing wholesale rises.

Mr Miscampbell said the market outside Belfast would be six months "behind" its pace of improvements.

RICS said October's survey was the first time since the property price peak that there were five months in a row of positive noises about prices.

Its Northern Ireland housing spokesman Tom McClelland said: "The evidence from a range of indicators is that the improved performance of the local economy has been sustained into the autumn."

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