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Stewarts Solicitors

Expert solicitors throughout Northern Ireland

Stewarts Solicitors

Housing Market Update May 2010

The recent Ulster Bank-sponsored RICS housing market survey reports that there was a marginal improvement in most Northern Ireland housing market indicators during May.
The surveys’ price balance improved slightly in the month, and there was an indication that enquiries from potential buyers increased.

Expectations for prices and transactions in the three months ahead (June, July, August) also improved marginally, the study says.

There remain big sectoral and geographical variations in the local market, and the likelihood is for this to continue during the remainder of the year.

On the whole, the scale of public spending cuts that are to come will impact on Northern Ireland significantly, creating a difficult environment for the housing market.

“Unemployment will remain high for some time and increasing pressures on household budgets, such as water-charging and rises in interest rates, will also inevitably come. That said, we foresee a prolonged period of largely flat average house prices rather than a further significant correction in average prices.”
– RICS Northern Ireland spokesman, Tom McClelland

“The expected headwinds will bring challenges for the housing market, but a range of indicators are pointing to evidence of increasing stabilisation. This is leading to an expectation that pent-up demand from those who have been putting off a home purchase will start to be realised.”
– Derek Wilson, head of lending products at Ulster Bank

Stewarts’ Tony McNulty LLB comments:

“We’re always reminded that the time to buy any stocks, shares or property is when the prices are low”. Clearly if our clients can acquire good value property in established locations then the timing for a deal should be right. Our property portfolio clients believe if the price is right they will continue to snap up good value in the current market.

Of course most Vendors will have the added burden of continued mortgage payments and will be keen to exit the market if they are actively marketing their property for sale. We stress the need for our client Vendors’ to consult their professional estate agent and find ever more innovative ways to encourage viewing at evenings and weekends, particularly with Open House Viewings.

If you are thinking of buying, selling, re-mortgaging or transferring ownership of property please contact a member of Stewarts at the earliest opportunity.

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