09/07/2013

NI Property Market Shows Positive Signs

The Northern Ireland property market appears to be picking up, according to the latest Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Ulster Bank Housing Market Survey.

The report said the price balance of the latest survey was at its highest in almost six years in June.

It is only the second time since July 2007 that the price balance has been in positive territory.

21% of respondents said prices were up in the three months to the end of June, and while 28% said prices were up in the period, 65% said they remained the same, with 7% saying they were down.

The only other positive reading since July 2007 was in March 2013, when the price balance was 9.

44% said transactions rose in the period from April to June, while 56% said that they were up. 33% said that they remained the same and 11% said they were down.

"We expect the summer months to provide an improvement, but, more significantly, what we are seeing is an overall trend of stabilisation in the market, which we expect to continue over the year as a whole," said Tom McClelland, RICS Northern Ireland housing spokesman.

"There will be bumps along the way, but we still expect 2013 to see an overall trend of easing price falls and increasing activity. The stabilisation in prices is encouraging greater activity, albeit we are still some way off what would be considered healthy transaction volumes."

Derek Wilson, Head of Lending Products at Ulster Bank, added: "There are a number of positive indicators in the market. Ulster Bank remains strongly committed to providing mortgage lending in all sectors of the market.

"We have provided more than £1.5bn of mortgage lending in the Northern Ireland market since the property price peak and continue to introduce initiatives that support demand and increase choice for borrowers."

(IT/JP)

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