Rising prices will ease as properties go on market
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey for Northern Ireland has been reporting rising house prices for 22 consecutive months, with the latest survey highlighting that the Northern Ireland market is outperforming other UK regions.
Prices, sales, instructions, inquiries and expectations all increased in March, and at stronger rates than elsewhere.
This follows figures from the Office for National Statistics which stated that annual house price inflation in Northern Ireland was running at 14.2% in February.
Some will welcome rising house prices, as it will help those in negative equity or with little equity to get back into a position where they might have enough equity to be able to move up the market.
Others, notably first-time buyers, will perhaps not. Arguably more importantly though, rising transaction volumes help boost the economy through the activity across a range of sectors that results.
But all of this needs to be kept in context.
Northern Ireland's housing market is at a different stage than other UK regions.
Whilst some areas, notably London and the south east of England, have average prices that are now above their pre-financial crisis levels, Northern Ireland house prices are still way below their peak.
The Northern Ireland market is still very much in recovery mode.
There are also significant variations within the Northern Ireland market itself.
Chartered surveyors expect house prices to rise in the three months ahead, but I would expect that as more properties come onto the market, upward pressure on prices will ease.
Samuel Dickey is RICS Northern Ireland residential property spokesman