Property market recovery 'stronger than we expected'
Recovery of Northern Ireland's property market has been stronger than expected, with sales and price rises set to continue, according to a new survey.
The latest RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) and Ulster Bank residential market survey says that the housing market recovery was sustained during the first six months of this year.
Samuel Dickey from RICS said that with the economy experiencing a strong 2014, the housing market saw positive progress too.
"The evidence is that transactions and sales increased in the six months to the end of June and that we are steadily making progress away from the bottom of the market towards a more normally functioning property market," said Mr Dickey.
He added: "Whilst still gradual and uneven, the recovery has been stronger than anticipated, reflecting the better than expected economic performance."
Mr Dickey said prices were still 50% below peak prices. He added: "The market will experience seasonal adjustments in the months ahead, and there will regional variations, but overall we expect the recovery to continue."
Derek Wilson, head of lending products at Ulster Bank, said both mortgage demand and approvals continued to increase strongly.