INVESTORS are snapping up property and driving an increase in activity at the lower end of the housing market, a major survey said today.
Research among their profession by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) found transactions increased in the first quarter of this year as investors and first time buyers bought property in growing numbers.
Surveyors and estate agents said they thought transactions would continue to grow in May, June and July, with 83% saying they expected prices to stay the same and 17% expecting a rise.
Richard McCulloch, an estate agent at Stanley Best in Magherafelt, said investors were driving activity at the lower end of the market in his area but added: "Once you go above the first time buyer side, the market is static. People are not moving and there are no signs of recovery."
Simon Brien, director at BTWSheills, said inquiries and viewings in all parts of the market were up 20% on last year.