'Readjusted' homes market improving
The housing market in Northern Ireland improved in September after being buffeted by bad global news, a surveyors' group has said.
Despite the world economic slump, houses are being sold within two months if asking prices are realistic.
Average prices are still falling, but at a less severe rate, and are likely to continue to decline in the months ahead, said Tom McClelland, of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Northern Ireland.
"This is a market that has readjusted and as long as you accept that that market has readjusted then there is activity out there," he said.
"It may not be fully accepted across the board and this survey is a measure of sentiment."
He said that where houses were realistically priced they were being sold within two months.
"There is a general view that prices might bounce around a bit over the next two to three months, but affordability is very much improved and, where sellers are prepared to accept that they are not going to have the same return from ever-increasing prices, they get the houses sold quite quickly."
The percentage of chartered surveyors reporting transaction levels rising improved, according to the RICS Ulster Bank Housing Market Survey. Surveyors' expectations of what will happen with sales in the three months ahead also improved marginally.
Mr McClelland added: "August had been an awful month in terms of economic news at a macro level, which impacted on sentiment and activity in the local economy and housing market, so there is no surprise that September saw some improvement.
"Global economic news has taken another turn for the worse of late, which will likely have implications for the local economy in the months ahead."