NI: House sales rise at fastest level in two years

Samuel Dickey
Samuel Dickey

House sales in Northern Ireland rose last month at the fastest level in two years.

The RICS and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey for November found the largest increase in transactions since August 2014.

Of the chartered surveyors responding to the UK-wide survey, 30 per cent reported house prices rising rather than falling in November. Demand also increased, with 13 per cent more surveyors reporting a rise in new buyer enquiries than a fall.

RICS spokesperson Samuel Dickey said: “A key issue for the housing market has been the impact on transaction activity since the spring. But, there are signs that the numbers have been edging upwards in recent months, particularly in November, and may continue to do so into the new year.

“However, the combination of macro uncertainty, the on-going supply shortfall - albeit there was a rise in instructions in November - and the myriad of tax changes impacting on buyers, suggest that any further pick-up in activity will be relatively modest in the short-term.”

Sean Murphy, managing director of branch banking at Ulster Bank, added: “According to the official figures, after a strong first quarter of 2016 for house sales, activity fell significantly in quarter two and picked up slightly in the third quarter.

“And the RICS data suggests that Q4 has seen a further rise in sales activity to date. At Ulster Bank, with a very low interest rate environment, we are seeing a significant number of mortgage enquiries.”

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