The latest Property transactions research from sources including the Ulster Bank Housing Market Survey and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has indicated that the number of property transactions has increased in the last three months and are expected to rise in the coming three months.
Research has also indicated a dip in prices achieved in successful sales in the Northern Ireland housing market. There has also been an acceleration at the rate at which house prices have fallen with prices dropping by 0.4% during the three months to the end of January, compared with a 0.2% drop in the three months to the end of October.
RICS Northern Ireland housing spokesman, Tom McClelland, has commented that;
“There is evidence that keenly priced new build homes are selling well. Repossessed properties priced at 2003 early 2004 levels are also selling. In terms of re-sales of existing stock, activity is limited however. This is because these properties are often not priced to reflect market realities, with sellers unwilling to accept the price drop that has taken place. When resale properties are priced correctly though, the evidence is that there is activity.
The reality is that prices are down by something in the region of 50%, which makes homes much more affordable. However, for activity levels to get back to ‘normal’, properties have to be priced to reflect this.”
Northern Ireland has seen the largest year-on-year drop in house prices at 14.1%, with prices falling by 1.4% during January for the UK as a whole.
The chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, Howard Archer, has stated that:
“The housing market will be pressurised over the coming months by high and likely-to-rise unemployment, negative real income growth, the increasing fiscal squeeze, very low consumer confidence, and ongoing difficulties in getting a mortgage, particularly for first-time buyers.
We suspect that house prices will fall by around 5% in 2011 and end up losing around 10% from the peak levels seen in the first half of 2010.”
At Robert G Sinclair & Co we keep abreast of market trends and respond accordingly. There are a number of first time buyer finance products on the market at present and we ourselves have taken the step of introducing a competitive first time buyer legal fee for 2011 and have also produced a straightforward “First Time Buyer Guide” which is available for download from the Residential Property section of our website.
If you require any further information about buying or selling property in Northern Ireland or are interested in finding out more about our legal services then please don’t hesitate to contact our Property Team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 028 90 231 770 and we will happy to help.