PropertyPal Housing Market Trends: Q1 2021

PropertyPal has today released the results of the performance of the Northern Ireland residential housing market during Q1 2021.The full report can be accessed via: https://bit.ly/3fT8Zlo

NOTE: ANNUAL COMPARISONS FOR SALES VOLUMES AND SUPPLY LEVELS ARE RELATIVE TO THE PERIOD IN 2019 DUE TO THE EFFECT OF THE HOUSING MARKET CLOSURE BETWEEN MARCH-JUNE 2020.

House prices and sales market

  • There were over 8,600 properties ‘sale agreed’ over the previous 3 months, 33% more than the same period in 2019.

  • Sales of 4 and 5+ bed properties increased by over 40% compared to Q1 2019.

  • Belfast remains the most popular place to purchase, recording over 1,760 sales followed by Ards & North Down (1,110) and Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon (970).

  • Annual house price growth has accelerated to 4.7% with prices increasing by 1.9% during the previous 3 months at the end of 2020. The average advertised property is now valued at £175,800.

  • Annual house price growth of houses increased to 5.4% compared to Apartments whereby prices have fallen by 1.0% over the previous 12 months.

  • Nine out of the eleven council areas experienced rising prices over the previous 12 months. House prices increased at the fastest rate in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon (7.3%), Ards & North Down (7.3%) and Belfast (7.2%)

  • There were close to 6,670 properties added to the market during Q1 2021, approximately 7% fewer properties during the same period in 2019. Supply shortages have been exacerbated by Covid-19 and total inventory available for sale is down 27 compared to Q1 2019.

PropertyPal

Rental market

  • The rental market has remained buoyant as heightened demand and fewer available properties has pushed rents upwards by 1.5% over the previous 3 months and an annual rate of 5.7%

  • The average rent in Northern Ireland is £674 per month, of which houses are £663 p/m and apartments £697 p/m.

  • There were approximately 4,350 new rental properties listed in Q4 2020, 9% fewer than the same period in 2019. The total inventory of rental properties is down 25% compared to Q1 2019.

Jordan Buchanan, Chief Economist at PropertyPal commented on the performance of the housing market during the opening quarter of the year:

“The housing market continued its impressive performance into the opening quarter of 2021 with an acceleration in prices and sales activity. Both the labour market and wider economic performance have shown considerable resilience in recent months and further policy support during the Budget will reinforce market activity in the short term. The stamp duty holiday extension will incentivise buying activity and the mortgage guarantee scheme may help first-time buyers enter the market. Furthermore, several local and national lenders have returned to low deposit lending, without availing of the government guarantee scheme, perhaps suggesting an underlying confidence in the market outlook. However, the longer-term outlook remains highly uncertain and market activity may soften later in the year as the furlough scheme and stamp duty holiday supports are unwound.”

Jordan further commented on the performance of the rental market:

“Competition in the rental market remains at exceptionally high levels but supply has failed to keep pace. This dynamic has led to accelerating rents at rates significantly outstripping wages. The restriction in mortgage credit for first time buyers during 2020 may mean some were forced to stay in the rental sector for longer. A positive supply influx of properties following the Easter period will be essential to partially re-align the demand/supply balance and soften rents to more affordable and sustainable levels.”

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