New Buyer Demand Falls For First Time in 50 Months, Albeit Marginally

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Northern Ireland house prices are continuing to rise despite a fall in new buyer enquiries, according to the latest RICS and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey.

The April survey shows demand cooling off following a period of increased activity in some segments of the market due to buyers bringing forward transactions to beat the introduction of an impending change to stamp duty at the beginning of April.

Indeed April saw the first fall in new buyer enquiries reported in some 50 months, albeit a marginal one (a net balance of -5 percent).

However, surveyors are reporting that prices were up in April, with a net balance of +56 percent of respondents reporting increasing values.

Local surveyors also expect Northern Ireland house prices and sales to rise marginally over the three months ahead.

”The changes in stamp duty have seen new buyer enquiries fall back marginally. However, we are also seeing no real growth in new instructions, and these tight supply conditions are seeing price momentum holding firm. Sales activity is also expected to remain relatively strong in the three months head.”

RICS Residential Property Spokesman, Samuel Dickey

”A range of indicators have pointed to an ongoing recovery in the local housing market, with the latest ONS Index for instance reporting year-on-year price growth of 2.4 percent. Mortgage activity at Ulster Bank remains strong and we expect to continue that in the months ahead. We are committed to helping people take steps into home-ownership, to move home, and to remortgage.”

Sean Murphy, Regional Managing Director, Branch & Private banking at Ulster Bank.