RICS Irish property price index nears six year high

Their Housing Market Survey found that the price balance, which indicates whether prices are rising or falling, was in positive territory for only the second time since July 2007.

A net balance of 21 per cent of respondents said that prices were up in the three months to the end of June (28 per cent saying that prices were up in the period, 65 per cent saying that they remained the same and 7 per cent saying they were down).

The only other positive reading since July 2007 was in March 2013, when the price balance was 9.

Surveyors were also upbeat about transactions and transaction expectations in the June survey. A net balance of 44 per cent said that transactions rose in the April, May, June period (56 per cent said that they were up, 33 per cent said that they remained the same, and 11 per cent said they were down).

With regard to the outlook for prices, 89 per cent of respondents said that they would remain the same in the three months ahead (July, August, September), with 11 per cent saying they would be up – giving a net balance of 11.

Tom McClelland, RICS Northern Ireland housing spokesman, tells TheMoveChannel.com: “We expect the summer months to provide an improvement, but, more significantly, what we are seeing is an overall trend of stabilisation in the market, which we expect to continue over the year as a whole. There will be bumps along the way, but we still expect 2013 to see an overall trend of easing price falls and increasing activity. The stabilisation in prices is encouraging greater activity, albeit we are still some way off what would be considered healthy transaction volumes.”

Derek Wilson, Head of Lending Products at Ulster Bank, adds: “There are a number of positive indicators in the market. Ulster Bank remains strongly committed to providing mortgage lending in all sectors of the market . We have provided more than £1.5billion of mortgage lending in the Northern Ireland market since the property price peak and continue to introduce initiatives that support demand and increase choice for borrowers.”