House prices expected to continue to rise even if UK prices dip

Estate agents are expecting Northern Ireland house prices to continue to rise even if they are less optimistic about prices across the rest of the UK.

A new report by RICS and Ulster Bank states: “Looking further ahead, Northern Ireland surveyors are also positive about the prospects for house prices over the next 12 months, in contrast to respondents from most other UK regions.”

However, the repotr also notes that a “lack of housing stock” in Northern Ireland will remain “a challenge for the market”, observing that new instructions to sell “were broadly flat in October”.

Samuel Dickey, residential property spokesperson for RICS, told the Belfast Telegraph: “We continue to see a relatively upbeat picture being painted of the Northern Ireland housing market, and surveyors anticipate that this will continue into 2018, albeit that there are some challenges, including limited supply, alongside rising inflation and the fact that interest rates are edging upwards.

“What is clear, though, is that Northern Ireland’s housing market continues to display more positive sentiment than the UK average, with most other regions seeing both prices and activity flat or falling.”

Sean Murphy, managing director of personal banking at Ulster Bank, said the housing market was “relatively buoyant”.

He added: “The latest Ulster Bank PMI indicates that the local economy continues to perform relatively well, with business activity rising and companies continuing to recruit new staff.”