House prices in the North could rise by as much as 5%

Study shows total volume of construction output in the third quarter decreased by 2.4%

Francess McDonnell

House prices in the North are predicted to rise “strongly” in the first quarter but the pace of growth will drop back during the next 12 months overall according to latest industry research today.

The RICS and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey suggests that house prices could rise by around five per cent in total – but be significantly off the 11 per cent growth that the organisation estimated for last year.

The RICS says it expects sales levels in Northern Ireland to be “robust” during 2016 particularly as house values remain low relative to other parts of the UK.


According to RICS Northern Ireland residential property spokesman, Samuel Dickey, it is confident that key local economic indicators combined with the high demand for certain housing requirements point to all the conditions being in place to support rising prices.

But Mr Dickey also warned that there is a level of uncertainty overshadowing the housing market.

“As the year goes on, it remains to be seen what impact the ongoing slowdown in the global economy, combined with concerns locally in relation to job security in the manufacturing sector and public spending cuts, has on the housing market,” he stated.

According to the latest RICS survey in terms of prices, a net balance of 34 percent of Northern Ireland surveyors said that prices rose in the past three months. A net balance of 45 per cent said they also expect prices to continue rising in the three months ahead.

Meanwhile the latest edition of the Northern Ireland Construction Bulletin also released today shows that the total volume of construction output in Northern Ireland in the third quarter of 2015 decreased by 2.4 per cent compared to quarter two of last year.

However, the volume of output in quarter three is still one of the highest levels reported in the last three years.

The decrease in the overall output was accounted for mostly by a 6.7 per cent decrease in repair and maintenance output. New work also fell slightly by 0.8 per cent but housing output increased by 5.5 per cent.

Francess McDonnell

Francess McDonnell

Francess McDonnell is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business