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8 February 2018, 07:21
A shortage of homes becoming available for sale is continuing to push up house prices in Scotland.
A survey has found a net balance of +21% (those reporting a rise minus those reporting a fall) of Scottish surveyors questioned said that house prices rose in January, which was above the UK figure of +8%.
Meanwhile a net balance of -12% reported a fall in the number of homes becoming available for sale, the latest RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) Residential Market Survey for January 2018 found.
This is the tenth consecutive month that the number of new instructions to sell has been in negative territory.
Property experts said that with new buyer enquiries continuing to increase, this suggests that there is a widening gap between availability and demand that will exacerbate supply constraints.
Gail Hunter, RICS Director in Scotland, said: "Surveyors remain positive about the prospects for the housing market in Scotland.
"However, they also point to a shortage of properties becoming available for sale, which will have a constraining effect on sales activity and potentially push up prices further.
"Anecdotally, surveyors continue to report that the changes to Land and Buildings Transaction Tax are having an ongoing negative impact on instructions to sell in the middle to the prime brackets of the market, and this is having detrimental trickle-down effect in other house price brackets."
However Scottish surveyors remain relatively upbeat about the three-month outlook for the market.
A net balance of +32% expect sales activity to increase in the February to April period and a net balance of +7% expect prices to rise in that time frame.
Newly agreed sales fell in January (-16%) while there was a (+8%) increase in new buyer enquiries .