House prices in Northern Ireland expected to rise as stock remains low
House prices in Northern Ireland are expected to rise in the coming months, industry experts have said.
New property sales are also rising faster than at any time since last summer, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
The RICS and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey for Northern Ireland said sales activity in April outperformed all other UK regions.
And it reported that local property prices continue to go up as supply remains constrained, with more new buyer inquiries coming in than vendor instructions.
RICS spokesman Samuel Dickey said there was an ongoing imbalance between supply and demand.
"Supply remains quite tight, with not a lot of properties coming onto the market," he said. "This lack of supply, combined with rising numbers of people looking to buy, is leading to rising prices and the expectation of further rises in the months ahead.
"Surveyors also expect sales levels to increase, but until supply increases, it is hard to see any further significant growth in transactions."
Northern Ireland surveyors remain more optimistic than their UK counterparts about future house prices, with local respondents expecting prices to rise here in the three months ahead than in any other region.
The forward-looking indicator for sales also remains strong, with 25% of surveyors expecting activity to rise between May and July.
Derek Wilson, Head of Lending Products at Ulster Bank, said customers deserved choice and support when it comes to making the financial decisions that are right for them.
"In our experience, April was a strong month for mortgage demand, and indeed demand has been rising steadily since the beginning of the year," he said.
"That's why we have launched our biggest-ever range of mortgage options, with some of our lowest-ever rates, as well as a new seven-year fixed range."
In terms of prices, a net balance of 56% of Northern Ireland surveyors said that prices rose in the past three months. This was higher than in every other UK region bar one.
Meanwhile, 50% said that they expect prices to continue rising in the three months ahead.
In terms of transactions, 40% of local surveyors said that these rose in April.