9th April 2013


Published Tuesday, 09 April 2013

Houses prices in Northern Ireland have started to rise again after almost six years of falling, the latest market survey has indicated.

In the first three months of this year more surveyors said prices were on the up than those who said they were still on a downward track, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Ulster Bank housing market survey.

The upward pointing trend is the first recorded by the quarterly survey since the summer of 2007.

Over half (61%) of the surveyors questioned for the research said that prices stayed the same on the previous quarter.

While 24% said that they were higher, and 15% said they were lower - producing a net balance of 9%.

However, respondents to the survey were not optimistic that prices would continue to rise.

In response to that question, 67% expect prices to remain the same in the next three months, 22% think they will fall and 11% expect them to rise.

The survey recorded evidence of an increasing volume of sales, with 40% saying that there were more transactions between January and March than in the previous three months and 60% stating that numbers remained the same.

With regard to the outlook, respondents expected transaction numbers to continue to rise.

Tom McClelland, RICS Northern Ireland spokesman, said: "We are seeing transaction volumes gradually increasing, which is welcome news. In terms of prices, the picture has been improving in recent months but surveyors remain cautious about the outlook.

"We remain of the view that there will continue to be seasonal adjustments, and that 2013 will see an underlying trend of easing price falls and modestly improving transaction volumes."

© UTV News