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Northern Ireland house prices expected to remain flat


House prices are predicted to remain flat in Northern Ireland

House prices are predicted to remain flat in Northern Ireland

House prices are predicted to remain flat in Northern Ireland

House prices were predicted to remain flat in Northern Ireland as experts have said the post-election period is unlikely to herald any significant change.

The latest survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) suggested prices and transaction volumes will be flat over the next three months.

The Ulster Bank-sponsored RICS housing market survey found almost three-quarters of Northern Ireland chartered surveyors questioned for the poll expect prices to be flat over the year ahead.

The Ulster Bank's Derek Wilson said: "The more stable market conditions that respondents to the survey are expecting should, at least, provide some reassurance to those contemplating a home purchase.

"Our own view is that there is pent up demand from particular types of purchasers who will be encouraged by the signs of stability."

While the past three months saw almost a third of respondents reporting price falls, making Northern Ireland the worst performing region in the UK, the authors of the survey said this reflected the relatively slow rate of recovery in the economy.

RICS Northern Ireland spokesman Tom McClelland said: "According to a range of indices the local economy is lagging other UK regions. It is therefore not surprising that the local housing market falls into the same bracket.

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"In terms of activity, there has no doubt been evidence of an increase, with more enquiries from buyers and marketing appraisals for sellers, but it is still just as difficult to pin down deals, with a lot of hard work moving an enquiry to a completed sale."

He added: "With the impact of public spending cuts starting to be felt in the Northern Ireland economy, the likelihood is for a subdued - and largely stable - market for some time to come."

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