Enquiries to buy homes in NI hit highest levels


The growth may be explained by the extension of the stamp duty holiday announced early last month

Enquiries from people thinking about buying a new home in Northern Ireland (NI) were the highest on record last month, according to a study.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said all members questioned for the survey, carried out with Ulster Bank, reported an increase.

The growth may be explained by the extension of the stamp duty holiday announced early last month.

According to the report, more homes were sold in March compared with the month before.

That left surveyors optimistic for the future, with most expecting the number of houses sold to increase over the next quarter.

But even with more homes being put on the market, anecdotally, there does not appear to be enough to meet demand.

Large numbers of surveyors also reported rising prices in March, with most expecting them to jump further in future.

RICS spokesman Samuel Dickey said: The results from the latest survey suggest the decision by the Chancellor to extend the stamp duty break and then taper its expiry has had some impact on demand and activity.

However, underlying demand was already strong, with people making up for lost ground from last year and many seeking to move for more space, he said. The survey’s indicators suggest that demand will also remain strong in the months ahead. One of the concerns in the market, though, continues to be limited supply.

Terry Robb, head of personal banking at Ulster Bank, added: March completed a strong quarter for mortgage demand. Despite the restrictions in place during the quarter, people have continued to apply for mortgages and move forward with home purchases and house moves. Of course, there are remortgages happening as well.

Robb said: Looking to the three months ahead, our pipeline suggests that mortgage activity will continue to be strong.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by our writers are their own and do not represent the views of Getting Money Wise. The information provided on Getting Money Wise is intended for informational purposes only. Getting Money Wise is not liable for any financial losses incurred. Conduct your own research by contacting financial experts before making any investment decisions.

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