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Press release

13 JUL 2017

Newly agreed sales rise in June

RICS and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey for Northern Ireland, July 2017

Northern Ireland’s housing market is the UK’s most buoyant, the latest RICS and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey suggests.

The survey’s indicators for enquiries, prices, and expectations remain firmly in positive territory and indeed are higher than all other UK regions. Newly agreed sales also increased in June, according to local surveyors, having fallen in May.

However, the flow of properties coming onto the Northern Ireland market eased back last month, according to the survey, suggesting that long-standing supply issues remain.

RICS Residential Property Spokesman, Samuel Dickey, says: “The latest survey brings to an end the first half of 2017, and the market has performed better than expected in the past six months. Indeed, expectations for the market strengthened in June. As we move into the latter half of the year, there continues to be some political uncertainty, and consumers will feel something of a squeeze from rising inflation, however the latest survey suggests that there is still momentum in the local housing market and that surveyors remain positive about the outlook.”

Sean Murphy, Managing Director, Personal Banking at Ulster Bank, says: “At Ulster Bank, we continue to see a good flow of mortgage interest, and we expect demand to remain strong in the second half of the year. Buying or moving home remains an attractive option for many people, as, despite rising prices, buying in Northern Ireland remains relatively very affordable. We see evidence that people retain a strong desire to own their own home.”

Main findings

  • The headline price balance for Northern Ireland was +41% in the latest survey, meaning that 41% more surveyors said that prices rose in the past three months than those who said they fell.
  • The price expectations balance at +29%, remains in positive territory. Meanwhile, sales expectations data (+28%) remains healthy.
  • The new buyer enquiries balance was positive for the 10th month in succession at +30%. The new instructions to sell balance eased back to +7% in June from +20% in May.
  • In terms of newly agreed sales, the net balance was +18% in June.