Northern Ireland housing market 'saw strongest United Kingdom growth'

The latest RICS and Ulster Bank survey highlights the fact people continue to want to own their own home

The latest RICS and Ulster Bank survey highlights the fact people continue to want to own their own home

The housing market in Northern Ireland remained "buoyant" in August compared to other United Kingdom regions, a survey has said.

Brian Murphy, head of lending at the Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), said: "The mixed picture that we've seen emerging over the last few months appears to be continuing, with London and the South East seeing prices coming off the boil - some may say correcting to a more reasonable level - with other regions, such as the North West and South West, still seeing strong increases".

As a result of London being the only location on the twelve-month horizon with a negative forecast, sentiments remained mostly negative throughout the South East of England, as well as the North and East Anglia, but the latest figures pointed to strong price growth in many other parts of the United Kingdom, particularly in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Figures show that the headline price balance for Northern Ireland was +51 per cent - meaning that more than half of the surveyors questioned said prices had risen in the past three months.

The study also said that anecdotal evidence suggested that most of the rises were in properties worth below £250,000.

"As ever, though, there are markets within markets", he said. Different parts of Northern Ireland are more buoyant than others and there are variations between different property types and levels of the market.

Also, prices in London have quadrupled over in the past 20 years, making homes unaffordable for many of its residents.

The price expectations balance, at +39%, rebounded from a more modest reading the previous month, while sales expectations data at +61% was the most positive in the UK.

Prime central London remains the only area across the country where house price expectations are negative for the coming 12 months, according to the survey.

In terms of supply, the net balance of new sales instructions was -1%, compared to -11% in July which itself was less negative than the two months preceding it which the RICS suggested could imply a stabilisation in the flow of fresh listings.

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