Northern Irish house prices pick up pace

The Obel Tower, Belfast Photo:   Infomatique

House price growth in Northern Ireland has picked up pace in the last month, according to new figures, driven by rising demand.

The latest RICS and Ulster Bank Residential Market Surveys hows that increasing interest from buyers is continuing to outpace the rate at which new instructions sell. As a result, prices are now rising there at a faster rate than any other region, with a net balance of 94 per cent of surveyors reporting price increases. Indeed, according to the latest ONS statistics, Northern Ireland recorded a 9 per cent rise in prices in the year to June 2015, ahead of England (6.1 per cent), Wales (0.8 per cent) and Scotland (a fall of 0.6 per cent).

Surveyors also remain positive about price growth in the future, with a net balance of 50 per cent expecting values to keep climbing in the coming three months. A net balance of 25 per cent of surveyors said that new instructions increased, while a net balance of 50 per cent said that new buyer enquiries increased.

“Key to the strong price growth is the continued robust increase in new buyer enquiries. Almost inevitably, this is creating upward pressure on prices, as new properties aren’t currently coming onto the market at as strong a rate, creating a gap between supply and demand,” comments RICS Northern Ireland Residential Property Spokesman Samuel Dickey.

“As we move out of the peak holiday season, we are seeing strong mortgage demand, which we expect to pick up further as this month continues,” adds Derek Wilson, Head of Lending Produts at Ulster Bank. “There is increasing momentum in the local housing market and we are committed to providing the finance to support it.”