Is the Northern Ireland property market on the mend?
The latest RICS and Ulster Bank Northern Ireland Housing Market Survey suggests that sales activity continued to increase last month and price falls are easing.
A net balance of minus 13% of surveyors said that prices fell in the three months to the end of February (28% saying prices were lower, 56% saying they remained the same, and 16% saying they were higher). This was the least negative price balance since November 2009.
The net balance for transactions, at 64% improved to its most positive reading since August 2009 (71% saying that translations volumes were higher in the three months, 21% saying they remained the same, and seven per cent saying they were lower).
Ninety three percent of those respondents said that prices would be flat in the same period, with the remainder saying that they would rise.
RICS spokesman Tom McClelland, said that, while welcome, the improvements need to be kept in perspective.
“The market is moving slowly in the right direction. During the year we will continue to see seasonal adjustments, with an underlying trend of easing price falls and modestly improving transaction volumes.” Derek Wilson, head of lending products at Ulster Bank, said it will build on the £1.5bn already lent into the local housing market.