Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland house price hike predicted as agents report renewed confidence in market

By Margaret Canning

Northern Ireland's estate agents are forecasting rising house prices as confidence in the market grows, according to a new survey.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Ulster Bank report today said sales expectations among Northern Ireland surveyors are at their highest since last summer.

There was also a growth in the number of surveyors and estate agents who had experienced growing house prices over the last few months.

All in all, the first six months of 2018 had brought a confident housing market, despite economic and political uncertainty.

And today's report showed surveyors here were the most optimistic of anywhere in the UK about an increase in house sales.

But despite the buoyant mood over sales and prices, estate agents and surveyors were still concerned over a lack of supply in the market.

There were more people asking about buying new houses than there were instructions from people wanting to sell up.

Samuel Dickey, a director in estate agents Simon Brien and the RICS residential property spokesman, said: "The latest survey brings to an end the first half of 2018, and the market has performed relatively strongly in this period, despite some political and economic uncertainty.

"Surveyors also remain confident about the outlook, with the expectation that sales activity will rise and prices will continue to edge upwards.

"Whilst the private rented sector continues to boom, we also continue to see a strong desire amongst people in Northern Ireland to own their own home.

"Having an adequate supply of good properties to meet this demand remains the one of the biggest challenges in the market."

According to the separate residential property price index, compiled by Land and Property Services, there was a 4.2%% increase in the standardised house price in Northern Ireland to just over £130,000 over the last year.

Terry Robb, head of personal banking NI at Ulster Bank, said: "We continue to see a good flow of mortgage interest, and we expect demand to remain strong in the second half of the year.

"Buying or moving home remains an attractive option for many people, as, despite rising prices, buying in Northern Ireland remains relatively very affordable. We see evidence that people retain a strong desire to own their own home."

Belfast Telegraph

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