The most widespread increase in house sales in Northern Ireland since august 2014 occurred last month, according to research conducted by The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), in what is a stark contrast to previous RICS research which suggested activity was slumping.
The previous research had suggested that as a result of changes to stamp duty for second homes and the outcome of the EU referendum, housing activity had fallen in May, however it looks like this is certainly picking up now after rising back up steadily and now experiencing the fastest rising rates for over two years.
“A key issue for the housing market has been the impact on transaction activity since the spring” commented Samuel Dickey, the RICS residential property spokesman. “But there are signs that the numbers have been edging upwards in recent months, particularly in November, and may continue to do so into the new year.”
Despite what has been drawn from the RICS research, property professionals in Northern Ireland are not all that hopeful for prices and sales to increase in the country, which could possibly be related to the lack of supply within the Northern Irish housing market.
Dickey continued, “However, the combination of macro uncertainty, the on-going supply shortfall – albeit there was a rise in instructions in November – and the myriad of tax changes impacting on buyers, suggest that any further pick-up in activity will be relatively modest in the short-term.”
According to separate information gathered from the Ulster University house price index, Northern Irish prices had actually risen to an average of just under £160,000, which is a yearly rise of around 6%.
So will these figures trigger a continuous rise in house sales in Northern Ireland? We shall have to wait and see how the market develops in the early stages of 2017.