Tuesday, 9 July, 2013
The property market in Northern Ireland is starting to pick up, according to the latest industry report.
[Property market picking up in NI]
For sale signs in Northern Ireland. (© Pacemaker)
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said house prices have risen over the past three months, with 90% of surveyors expecting prices to stay the same from July to September.
The June price balance - which gives an indication of whether average house prices are rising or falling - was the highest reported by the group in six years.
Publishing the RICS and Ulster Bank Housing Market Survey on Tuesday, spokesman Tom McClelland, said: "There will be bumps along the way, but we still expect 2013 to see an overall trend of easing price falls and increasing activity.
"The stabilisation in prices is encouraging greater activity, albeit we are still some way off what would be considered healthy transaction volumes. We expect the summer months to provide an improvement, but, more significantly, what we are seeing is an overall trend of stabilisation in the market, which we expect to continue over the year as a whole."
According to the report, 21% of respondents said prices were up during the three-month period ending in June - while 65% said they remained the same.
Surveyors were also upbeat about transactions and transaction expectations in the June survey, with 56% saying they were up, 33% said they were the same, and 11% said down.
Derek Wilson, Head of Lending Products at Ulster Bank, says: "There are a number of positive indicators in the market.
"Ulster Bank remains strongly committed to providing mortgage lending in all sectors of the market. We have provided more than £1.5bn of mortgage lending in the Northern Ireland market since the property price peak and continue to introduce initiatives that support demand and increase choice for borrowers."
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