HOUSE prices are continuing to rise as demand for properties surges ahead of supply, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
The number of potential buyers outstripped homes coming on to the market for the ninth consecutive month in January, with 27% more surveyors reported increases rather than decreases in new instructions, with a balance of 37% more reporting a growth in demand.
The monthly RICS residential market survey found the imbalance in the market has continued to force up the cost of a home, with 38% more surveyors noticing an increase in prices.
Sarah Speirs, director of RICS Scotland, said respondents to the survey expected supply to increase over the next few months.
“Prices are on the up in Scotland and this is driven largely by a lack of properties coming on to the market,” she said.
“With a growing number of people now in a position to buy a home, there are simply not enough properties to satisfy demand. The upshot of this is that prices are increasing in many areas.
“However, RICS members do expect an increase in supply in the coming months as the traditional spring bounce begins to take effect.”
RICS Scotland is working with the Scottish Housing Commission to address the issue of housing supply and demand in Scotland, she said. The commission is due to publish its findings in April.
Expectations for the year are positive, with a balance of 49% more surveyors predicting transaction numbers in Scotland to increase over the next three months.
Responding to the survey, Kevin MacDonald, of chartered surveyors Graham and Sibbald in Inverness, said: “Momentum has been maintained during January which is indicative of rising confidence with competitive bids, closing dates and more encouraging prices.”