Supply drought causing headache for growing numbers of prospective NI house buyers

Posted By:
Ulster Bank

13th Dec 2021

RICS and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey – November 2021

The NI housing market saw another month of declining new listings, which may frustrate the growing number of prospective buyers, according to the latest RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey.

A net balance of +58% of NI respondents to the survey reported a rise in new buyer enquiries, however the net balance for instructions to sell was -39% – the fifth time in a row a negative result has been reported. This suggests that demand remains much greater than supply.

This appears to be impacting on both sales and prices. A net balance of +11% of NI respondents reported an increase in newly agreed sales. This is significantly lower than figures being reported earlier in the year. And prices continue to rise firmly due to the supply and demand imbalance, according to respondents (a net balance of +68% in November).

In terms of the outlook, the expectation is that prices will continue to rise over the next three months, with a net balance of +38% of respondents saying so. A net balance of +17% expect the number of sales to rise over the same timeframe.

Samuel Dickey, RICS Northern Ireland Residential Property Spokesman, says: “We’re into the final month of 2021 now, but the story remains a similar one to earlier in the year with a lack of supply impacting on the ability of potential buyers to purchase a home or move house and continuing to push up prices. If anything, it is more acute now than before. Looking to 2022, it is hard to see this changing significantly so constrained supply is likely to characterise the market next year too.”

Terry Robb, Head of Personal Banking at Ulster Bank, said: “2021 has been a relatively strong one for the housing market in Northern Ireland in terms of demand, and we have seen this reflected in our mortgage business. We have seen good demand from across the market, and particularly for products like our 95% mortgage which has been introduced to support first time buyers. But with supply of homes to the market so constrained this is impacting transaction levels and will do into the early part of 2022 at least.”