Belfast Telegraph

Property developers remain upbeat despite pessimistic reports

Property developers have reported an increased confidence in the local housing market despite the pessimistic headlines.

Following a series of depressing reports, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said this week that their members in Northern Ireland expected transaction volumes to go up between now and May.

February's survey for RICS reported a price balance of -46 - the percentage of chartered surveyors who say prices rose in the past three months minus those who say they fell.

And a recent University of Ulster study showed that house prices fell by 7.7% in 2010, with the average house price in Northern Ireland falling to under £150,000 for the first time in five years.

But some are claiming that well placed and priced developments can retain strong levels of sales.

The firms behind Thaxton Village, on the outskirts of Lisburn, say that the development sold, on average, 100 homes a year, since its official launch in Autumn 2007.

Simon Brien, director from BTW Cairns estate agents said: "During the boom many areas overinflated but if you track areas such as Lisburn you will see that the peaks and troughs were much less pronounced."