Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland house sales are on the rise... but prices still falling

By Heather McGarrigle

Properties in Northern Ireland are selling faster than for several years — but only if the price is right.

The latest housing survey by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) into the beleaguered market shows average property prices here are still falling, but sales are going up.

RICS Northern Ireland spokesman, Tom McClelland, said “setting the right price” was the key to selling your home.

He said: “However, the fact remains that houses are selling but at much lower prices than seen for seven or eight years.

“Sellers who understand and accept where the market is are being successful and are finding buyers. The emphasis is on setting the right price.”

Patrick Palmer, of estate agent Templeton Robinson, says his clients are responding to the changing conditions.

“I have a house on at the minute for which the vendors originally wanted £200,000 to £225,000 and were very reluctant to sell below that upper figure.

“Now they will probably take below £200,000 to get the sale. The market is a lot more buoyant now than it was earlier in the year and that trend is being driven by people selling at realistic prices.

“The buyers are out there if the price is right.”

Michael Rodgers, of Holywood estate agent Rodgers and Browne, agrees that market awareness is growing. He said: “In the main, people are instructing us to put their houses on the market at realistic prices, so we haven’t been forced to go back and disappoint them with revised prices.”

The report also claims that prices are expected to continue to fall in the months ahead, but at a less severe rate.

Factfile

Average house price in second quarter of 2011: £137,814

Average price change from same period in 2010: Down 15%

House sales Jan — March 2011: 925

House sales April — June 2011: 1,062

Highest average house price: £217,631 (south Belfast)

Lowest average house price: £93,162 (north Belfast)

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