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Massive rise in Northern Ireland prices forecast by industry experts

By Claire McNeilly

Published 10/09/2015

Northern Ireland's house prices are expected to increase by 11% this year, industry experts have forecast
Northern Ireland's house prices are expected to increase by 11% this year, industry experts have forecast

Northern Ireland's house prices are expected to increase by 11% this year, industry experts have forecast.

They are also predicted to rise by 6% in the UK in the same period, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

This is based on a comparative analysis between RICS's price indicator and data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

RICS Northern Ireland residential property spokesman Samuel Dickey said prices remained far lower than they were during the boom time.

"A shortage of new instructions has characterised the Northern Ireland property market this year, with buyer enquiries outstripping the rate at which properties have been coming to the market," he said.

"As we move into the autumn, we should see more instructions, helping address this imbalance and ease upward pressure on prices.

"On the whole, RICS forecasts that average prices in Northern Ireland will have risen by 11% between quarter four, 2014 and quarter four, 2015.

"This represents robust growth, but we should remember that this is from a low base, with average prices still some way from their 2007 peak."

The RICS and Ulster Bank residential market survey said the number of houses coming onto the market fell short of demand.

It said a net balance of 72% of Northern Ireland surveyors noted that prices increased in August - which is more than in all other UK region's apart from East Anglia.

Surveyors also said they remain positive about the outlook, with three-month price expectations also among the highest in the UK.

Ulster surveyors are confident that increases seen in August will continue, with 40% of respondents expecting sales levels to be higher in three months' time.

Derek Wilson, head of lending products at Ulster Bank, said the bank recently launched the biggest-ever range of mortgage options, with some of the lowest-ever rates, as well as a new seven-year fixed range.

"The levels of mortgage demand that we are experiencing points to a strong few months ahead in terms of activity," he said.

In terms of prices, 72% of Northern Ireland surveyors said that they rose in the past three months, while 46% said that they expect them to continue rising in the three months ahead.

In terms of newly agreed sales, 18% said these increased last month. A net balance of 21% of surveyors said that new instructions increased, while a net balance of 29% said that new buyer inquiries increased.

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