Bidding wars on highly sought after homes in the greater Belfast area are again becoming a feature of the property market as “supply remains a key issue”, according to latest research from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
The industry body said the supply of new homes coming on to the market in the North fell in January for the second time in three months while new buyer inquiries rose modestly for the 47th consecutive month.
The RICS/Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey highlights the "imbalance" in supply and demand as one of the key factors driving up prices in certain key areas.
RICS members reported an increase in sales in January and said they expect the volume of sales to rise over the next three months.
However, Samuel Dickey, RICS Northern Ireland residential property spokesman, said while demand is increasing in certain postcodes the overall market in the North is still in recovery.
“In Belfast-centric areas it is definitely very competitive, and because supply is low in certain areas every sale attracts multiple bidders. Outside of Belfast this might not be as big an issue but the market is in recovery – we are coming off one of the worst property crashes – and the economic conditions are there for demand to continue to rise,” Mr Dickey said.
He does not, however, foresee any prospect of the market over-heating again as it did at the height of the North’s short-lived property boom in 2006.