Little sign of winter blues in NI housing market as buyers active

Posted By:
Ulster Bank

10th Feb 2022

RICS and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey – January 2022

There was little sign of the winter blues in the Northern Ireland housing market during January, with new buyers active and newly agreed sales rising, according to results from January 2022 RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey.

A net balance of +54% of respondents said that there were more new buyers in the market in January whilst a net balance of +31% said that the number of newly agreed sales rose.

But there was no sign of an increase in properties coming onto the market to meet the rising demand. The survey’s indicator for new instructions to sell remained negative for the seventh consecutive month, though only marginally so.

In terms of prices, a net balance of +70% of NI respondents said there was a rise in January and 40% said that they expect prices to increase over the next three months.

Expectations for sales activity was less upbeat though with surveyors expecting a flat picture over the next three months, perhaps resulting from the lack of supply.

Garrett O’Hare, RICS member and managing director of property agency Bradley NI, says: “The supply side challenge aside, it appeared to be a relatively upbeat picture in the NI housing market last month, with lots of potential buyers and sales going through in greater number than at the end of last year. However, the lack of properties coming onto the market, combined with other factors such as the recent interest rate rise, may temper the market over the next few months. However, as always, there are variations at a regional level and a sector level. For instance, the market for large homes in certain areas is particularly strong.”

Terry Robb, Head of Personal Banking at Ulster Bank, said: “Mortgage demand remained good through January from first time buyers and remortgagers. With the recent increase in interest rates we are also now seeing more customers reviewing their mortgages to avail of the best rates available. There continues to be a good choice of mortgage products and we expect mortgage demand to remain strong in the months ahead.”