Northern Ireland’s BTW Shiells has merged with residential specialist The Eric Cairns Partnership creating the largest property consultancy firm in the province.

The merger will see a combined team of 150 staff and will strengthen BTW Shiell’s residential team.

Eric Cairns is letting agent on some of Belfast’s most prominent residential schemes including Donegall Quay’s 26-storey residential development Obel which also includes a 144-room hotel and 41,000 sq ft of offices.

Rising prices

Northern Ireland's residential market is attracting increased investor interest and has the fastest rising house prices in Europe.

The most recent figures from the Department of Communities and Local Government showed that house prices in the province have risen by more than 20% in the last 12 months.

This is more than three times the UK average and is ahead of growth in the Republic of Ireland’s residential market.

Keith Shiells, partner at BTWShiells, said: ‘The merger with The Eric Cairns Partnership will deliver considerable critical mass and a potentially dominant presence in the marketplace.’