Housing price growth eases
Momentum in the Northern Ireland housing market remains strong, despite price and sales growth moderating in September, according to the latest RICS and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey for Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland recorded the highest price balance of all the UK regions, and strong data for newly agreed sales, however, both indicators were lower than levels recorded in the August survey.
Price expectations over the next three months have also eased, though remain robust, whilst sales expectations for the three months ahead increased.
Meanwhile, the rate at which new buyer enquiries were coming in rose, and the rate of growth in new vendor instructions fell back – explaining the upward pressure on prices.
RICS Northern Ireland spokesman, Samuel Dickey says: “As the survey suggests, there is an issue with supply in the market, whilst buyer demand remains strong. This is creating the conditions for continuing price growth. Surveyors also expect sales to increase in the short-term. In the longer-term, it remains to be seen exactly what impact the significant pressure on the public finances here has on confidence, particularly when combined with the inevitability of interest rate rises by the Bank of England. However, the likelihood is for a more subdued housing market in 2015 than we have seen this year.”
Derek Wilson, Head of Lending Products at Ulster Bank, says: “We are experiencing continuing strong demand for mortgage lending from all sectors of market and remain committed to offering a competitive range of mortgage options for customers. In the first half of the year, Ulster Bank saw a 44 per cent increase in mortgage drawdowns and a 45 per cent increase in mortgage offers compared to the same period last year, and that trend has continued in recent months.”
September was the 16th month in succession that surveyors indicated prices rose in Northern Ireland, with a price balance of 64% (down from 68% in August).