NI home prices rise for ninth month
The balance of surveyors reporting rising home prices in the latest RICS and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey for Northern Ireland was at the survey’s highest since May 2007.
It was the ninth consecutive month in which more local chartered surveyor respondents reported rising prices than falling prices.
A net balance of 65% of respondents to the survey said that prices were up in the three months to the end of February (65% saying that they were higher in the period, 35% saying that they were the same, and 0% saying that they were lower). This follows positive price data every month since June 2013.
RICS spokesman, Samuel Dickey said: “The trajectory of house prices in Northern Ireland is continuing to broadly align with the wider economic picture, as a range of indicators are pointing to positive growth. The evidence is that overall transaction levels are also picking up, something that we expect to see continuing into the spring and summer months, when the market is traditionally busier. Whilst the picture across the Northern Ireland housing market is varied, with some geographical areas having better experiences than others, we also expect average prices to rise in the months ahead, and about 4% over the course of this year.”
Derek Wilson, Head of Lending Products at Ulster Bank, added: ”A range of indicators are pointing to improvements in the housing market, including the latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders which show that the total number of loans advanced for house purchase in Northern Ireland was up 7% in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to the previous quarter, and up 21% compared to the fourth quarter of 2012. Ulster Bank is strongly committed to providing mortgage lending in all sectors of the market where there is realistic demand. We have provided more than £1.75billion of mortgage lending in the Northern Ireland market since the property price peak and are keen to help more customers access mortgage finance and are currently saying yes to 9 out of 10 mortgage applications locally.”
At a UK-level, the cost of a home continued to rise during February, albeit at a slightly slower pace than in previous months. Last month 45 percent more UK chartered surveyors saw prices rise rather than fall. The cost of a home has now risen in the UK for eleven consecutive months.
Looking ahead, respondents predict both prices and transaction levels to continue to increase as we enter the summer months where the market traditionally starts to pick up.