RICS Residential Market Survey devolved regional outlook

Alongside today’s release of the RICS UK Residential Market Survey we take a look at the devolved regions’ housing market.

View the national survey findings

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland’s housing market looks set to end 2017 on a high and to enter 2018 with considerable momentum, the latest RICS and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey suggests.

House prices and sales rose firmly according to the balance of local respondents to the November survey, and they expect both prices and sales activity to increase in the three months ahead.

Looking further ahead, Northern Ireland surveyors are also positive about the prospects for house prices and sales over the next 12 months, with the balance of respondents expecting both sales activity and prices to be higher in a year’s time.

However, Northern Ireland surveyors continue to report that a lack of housing stock is a challenge for the market. Indeed, in net balance terms, new instructions to sell significantly lagged new buyer enquiries in the November survey, indicating an imbalance between supply and demand.

Samuel Dickey, RICS Residential Property Spokesman

Overall, 2017 has been a good year for the local housing market. We have seen relatively healthy rates of price increase and rising sales activity. Looking ahead to 2018, there will be a number of headwinds, including the limited supply, alongside rising inflation and the fact that interest rates are edging upwards. However, surveyors appear to be reasonably confident about the market in the year ahead.

Sean Murphy, Managing Director, Personal Banking at Ulster Bank

The RICS figures are in line with other indicators in pointing to a relatively strong year for the housing market. The latest NI House Price Index for instance reports average prices rising 6% year-on-year, and the latest CML mortgage lending data shows that home buyers in Northern Ireland borrowed £480 million in the third quarter of the year, up 12% on the second quarter of 2017 and 20% compared to the third quarter last year. Our own experience of the market suggests that this trend has continued into Q4, and it would appear that the local housing market will enter 2018 with some momentum.


The Welsh housing market looks set for a positive end to the year, and to enter 2018 with considerable momentum, the latest RICS Residential Market Survey suggests.

House prices and sales are rising relatively strongly, according to the balance of Welsh surveyors, and expectations for the market remain quite upbeat.

Indeed, house prices are expected to rise into the new year.

A net balance of 50% of Welsh respondents to the November survey said that house prices rose. A net balance of 40% said that newly agreed sales increased.

Tony Filice FRICS, RICS Residential Spokesperson for Wales, and Director of Kelvin Francis in Cardiff

We are still seeing a shortage of properties coming onto the market, meaning constrained choice for purchasers, and this has been putting upward pressure on prices. December will likely be quieter than November as many purchasers hold off until the new year. But we expect the early part of 2018 to follow a similar trajectory to the fourth quarter of this year with good demand and rising prices.

David James FRICS of James Dean in Brecon

It was another good month for sales, but fewer properties are coming onto the market.

Roger Davies MRICS of JJ Morris in Cardigan

The Stamp Duty proposal for first time buyers will have little effect in this area where first time houses tend to cost £100,000 to £150,000.


Ahead of the 2017 Budget, the Residential Market Survey shows sales across the Scottish housing market remain flat in the run up to Christmas.

In November, new buyer enquiries were flat across Scotland. Last month, -4% respondents saw a fall in new buyer interest with respondents once again suggesting that the lower end of the market is more active. Newly agreed sales also remained flat in November across Scotland.

But going forward, 29% more respondents to the Scotland survey expect sales to pick up across the coming three months. This is despite new instructions to sell continuing to deteriorate in November, as the supply crisis continues (-22% net balance over the month).

Looking at prices, the Scottish house price balance is underpinned by the continued lack of stock in November, with 35% more respondents seeing prices rise last month. Looking forward, the three month price expectations are also optimistic in Scotland as the net balance moved to +24% from +22% in October.

However, contributors are optimistic that the market is going to gain momentum in the coming months and expect possible Budget changes to bolster the market in 2018.


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