The supply of residential properties in the Northern Ireland market continued to decline last month, prompting prices to rise, according to fresh research.
The lack of new homes being built and shortage of existing properties being put up for sale is effectively causing a market stagnation, which is becoming a real cause for concern, the latest monthly Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Ulster Bank residential market survey shows.
The majority of RICS members who were questioned for the residential market survey said they felt property prices increased in January and would continue to do so over the next quarter.
At the start of this year, the RICS forecast that home prices would rise by around 3% this year.
Samuel Dickey, RICS residential property spokesman, commented: “The Northern Ireland housing market appears to have begun 2017 much as it ended 2016, with prices edging upwards and reasonable demand evident.
“However, supply remains a challenge, with no sign of the number of properties coming onto the market picking up.
“Surveyors expect transaction activity to hold up in the short-term, but unless supply improves this won't be sustained.
“It remains to be seen if sellers are holding off until the spring months before marketing their properties.”