NI housing market buoyant in contrast to parts of the UK
RICS and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey for Northern Ireland, August 2017
Northern Ireland’s housing market remained buoyant in August, the latest RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey suggests.
This follows the trend in the wider economy, with key indicators reporting that Northern Ireland business activity grew strongly last month.
Indeed, in the latest survey, Northern Ireland recorded the strongest growth across the UK for house prices, with respondents also more upbeat on the outlook.
However, anecdotal evidence from respondents suggests that there is a divergence between the upper and lowers ends of the market, with a stronger picture below the £250,000 price mark.
Overall, the latest survey points a positive picture in terms of the trajectory of activity and the outlook. As ever, though, there are markets within markets. Different parts of Northern Ireland are more buoyant than others and there are variations between different property types and levels of the market. The latest NI Residential Property Price Index highlights this, with new build homes rising significantly faster than that of existing or resold housing stock, and average prices in rural areas up 6.3% in the past year, compared to 3.7% for urban areas.
RICS Residential Property Spokesman, Samuel Dickey
This is the latest piece of strong economic data for Northern Ireland, following the Ulster Bank PMI for August, which recorded the strongest rate of private sector output growth this year. There are no doubt challenges in the economy, including rising inflation, but the latest survey highlights that people continue to want to own their own home and that the outlook for the market amongst surveyors remains quite upbeat.
Sean Murphy, Managing Director, Personal Banking at Ulster Bank
The main findings of the survey were as follows: