2016 – what a year, eh? Investors I chat to are simultaneously captured by and sick to the back teeth of talk of Brexit and Trump.
Whether it was a reaction to the shock referendum result is hard to tell, but Q2 in Northern Ireland did see a notable dip in house sales compared to the first quarter. 4,586 properties exchanged hands, compared to nearly 6,000 between January and March (5,951, to be precise).
That’s a dip of nearly 23% - and the first few months of the year are regarded in the trade as the quiet ones for sales, so certainly unusual.
However, despite a general lack of supply in the Northern Ireland market, buyer confidence returned in the next quarter, with a rise of over 13% in confirmed residential property sales between Q2 and Q3.
5,200 properties in total were sold between July and September last year. That’s slightly lower than the sales figure for the same period in 2015 (5,820) but growth between Q2 and Q3 in 2015 was only 10% compared to 13% in a post-Brexit result Northern Ireland, so I think that paints a relatively optimistic picture.
Belfast property sales broadly reflected the overall picture in Northern Ireland, with a dip between Q1 and Q2 from 1,234 to 997 sales; but rising about 10% in the third quarter to see 1,096 confirmed house purchases.