Economy

Buoyant NI housing market contrasts with other United Kingdom regions

Buoyant NI housing market contrasts with other United Kingdom regions

Coming several days after the Ulster Bank PMI report indicating strong business acitivity in key ahat Northern Ireland business activity grew strongly in certain secors last month, the latest Residential Market Survey from the Royal Inistitute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reports that Northern Ireland recorded the strongest growth across the United Kingdom for house prices, with respondents also more upbeat on the outlook.

Overall, the report authors described the market as "buoyant", with Northern Ireland recording the strongest growth across the United Kingdom for house prices.

"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".

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The London price gauge remained stuck firmly in negative territory, posting the weakest reading since 2008. In Wales, surveyors reported both house prices rising now and expectations that prices would continue to increase over the next three months.

In London, the South East, the North and East Anglia, respondents reported that asking prices were falling, while in Northern Ireland, the North West, Scotland, and the South West, the outlook was more positive.

Buyer enquiries were flat on the previous month and sales across Britain posted a negative balance for the ninth month in a row, this time coming in at -4%. As such, nationally, sales have not seen any growth since November 2016.

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The survey also highlighted that despite a sustained period of deteriorating sales, agents books were near an all-time low at 43.2. Although there are some signs that the wider south east is also losing some momentum, anecdotal evidence suggests the impact is very location specific.

"Overall, house price growth would seem to be in line with market expectations, although as that's an average figure across the board that's more of a broad indicator than anything else".

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