Northern Ireland housing market the best performing in UK
Northern Ireland is the UK's best performing housing market after growth in prices in October defied a slump in the UK as a whole, according to a survey today.
The research by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) found that the majority of members in Northern Ireland had experienced an increase in house prices in October.
And estate agents and surveyors in Northern Ireland were also the most optimistic, with many expecting house prices to continue to rise, and expecting the number of sales to increase.
In fact, optimism about an increase in sales activity was at its strongest in Northern Ireland though the number of sales in October was down slightly on September.
Today's survey by the professional body for estate agents and surveyors follows separate research by Ulster University, which reported a slowdown in house price growth to 1.5% over the last year, giving an average house price of just under £162,000.
In contrast to the sunny outlook of most surveyors in the RICS research, most other UK regions expect prices and sales to fall or, at best, remain level over the last few months of the year.
RICS also reported a slight increase in the number of properties coming onto the market for the first time in five months.
Samuel Dickey, the residential property spokesman at RICS, said: "Interest from first time buyers and a strong rental have been two of the factors driving the Northern Ireland housing market, with first time buyers and investors both very active this year.
"Surveyors remain confident about the market, despite political and economic uncertainty, and 2018 is shaping up to have been a more positive picture for the housing market than perhaps was initially anticipated."
The latest residential property price index from Land and Property Services - which, unlike the Ulster University report, includes cash and auction sales, reported a standardised house price in the province of £132,795.
That was up 4.4% between quarter two of last year and quarter two, 2018.