RICS and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey – July 2023
House prices in Northern Ireland continued to rise but at the slowest rate this year according to the July RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey.
A net balance of 16% of NI-based respondents noted an increase in house prices in the latest survey. However, this is the least positive this figure has been since December 2022 and the second lowest since July 2020. It is also markedly down on the net balance of +80% recorded in July 2022.
In saying that, despite the weakening sentiment, NI surveyors do remain relatively optimistic about pricing for the three months ahead, with a net balance of 17% expecting a rise, up from 4% in the survey previous. Indeed, surveyors in Northern Ireland are more optimistic about the outlook than the UK average, where -59% of respondents expect a fall in prices over the next quarter.
Looking at new buyer enquiries, a net balance of -34% of Northern Ireland respondents reported a fall, the second consecutive month this figure has been in decline, with higher interest rates seemingly a factor deterring potential purchasers.
Supply was also reported to have fallen in the latest report, with a net balance of -38% of surveyors reporting that the number of properties coming onto the market was down.
With limited demand and supply, sales have been impacted, with a net balance of -25% of NI surveyors reporting a fall through the month of July. Surveyors seem more positive on the sales outlook though, with a net balance of 22% expecting a rise in sales over the next quarter.
Samuel Dickey, RICS Northern Ireland Residential Property Spokesman, says: “The latest survey results show the extent of the change in market sentiment over the past year with higher mortgage rates having a clear impact. However, it is noteworthy that the Northern Ireland market appears to be in a stronger position than other parts of the UK. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK currently with a positive net balance for prices, and unlike in other areas, Northern Ireland surveyors are relatively upbeat about the prospects for prices and activity in the months ahead.”
Terry Robb, Head of Personal Banking at Ulster Bank, added: “We know that many people in Northern Ireland continue to want to own or move home, and we are working to support customers with their homebuying aspirations. That’s why Ulster Bank offers NatWest’s extensive mortgage product offering for customers in Northern Ireland. This includes products such as 95% mortgages in support of first time buyers, and Green Mortgages for those wanting to maximise the benefits of having an Energy Performance Certificate A or B rating. These products help our customers in Northern Ireland through a wider range of competitive mortgage deals.”