Ongoing demand from homebuyers is leading to stronger expectations for sales in the Northern Ireland housing market, according to a new report.

The latest RICS and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey found a net balance of 28 per cent of respondents based in Northern Ireland said that there were more new buyers active in the market during February relative to January. It is the fourth consecutive month that the net balance has been strongly positive.

As a result, expectations for home sales increased to their highest level in more than three years. A net balance of 54 per cent of respondents said that they expect sales to be higher in three months' time, which is the strongest the net balance has been since January 2021.

The outlook for prices has also strengthened. A net balance of 49 per cent of respondents expect prices to be higher in three months’ time.

The report adds that the one factor that could hold back sales growth is the availability of properties. Whilst new instructions to sell were reported to have increased in February, there continues to be an imbalance compared to demand. 

Samuel Dickey, RICS Northern Ireland residential property spokesman, said: "As we move into the Spring months, demand for house purchases is increasing and we expect to see more sales going through. For the large part, in our experience, these are going through at asking price or above, with some instances of parties bidding against each other.

"There is no doubt that lower mortgage rates are helping. But there is still a shortage of properties coming onto the market. In our experience, there is a particular lack of family homes, creating a challenge for those hoping to upsize."

Source: Insider Media