Belfast Telegraph

Public sector cuts could hurt house prices

The prospect of large public spending cuts looms over the Northern Ireland housing market, according to chartered surveyors.

Local contributors to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) housing market survey cited the public spending environment as one of the key reasons for continued uncertainty. A significant proportion (39%) of local chartered surveyors questioned are still reporting falling prices according to the Ulster Bank-sponsored report, with 51% reporting prices remaining the same, and the remainder saying that prices are rising.

However, other regions of the UK — West Midlands and The East Midlands — are now showing a higher proportion of chartered surveyors reporting falling prices than Northern Ireland.

RICS Northern Ireland spokesman, Tom McClelland, said: “We see some positive indications in that transaction levels appear to have increased this year to some degree and when houses are priced properly, there is evidence that they are selling.

“In some areas and sectors, we believe that prices have come down as much as 60% from peak levels.”

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