Scotland bucking trend with rising property prices

Scotland's house prices are continuing to rise, bucking the trend across the UK, according to a monthly report.

Scotland's property market is recovering. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Scotland's property market is recovering. Picture: Ian Georgeson

RICS Scotland said a net balance of 39 per cent more chartered surveyors reported a rise in prices for homes in Scotland, while the national figure slipped to -8 per cent in the latest results, having been flat in February and March.

Surveyors also said that Scotland exhibits the “most upbeat assessment” for sales prospects across the UK over the coming year.

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The near-term outlook for prices in Scotland also remained positive in April, with a net balance of 20 per cent more respondents predicting property prices to continue to climb in the next few months. However, expectations remain downbeat in London, with 20 per cent more surveyors predicting a further decline over the year to come. Surveyors also offered the gloomiest outlook on the London market in more than nine years, with 65 per cent more respondents saying they saw prices fall over April.

David Cruickshank, chartered surveyor at D M Hall’s Elgin office, said: “The market has recovered from the long winter period, with a marked increase in sales and new Home Report instructions.”

New buyer enquiries were up slightly during April, following a relatively steady period during March. As with buyer demand, agreed sales in the Scottish housing market also held relatively firm over the month, having been pretty flat over the last few months. Across the UK the picture remains varied, with sales only rising to any meaningful extent in four of the 12 regions or countries – including Scotland – covered by the survey.

In the lettings market, tenant demand in the three months to April was steady, as a net balance of 6 per cent of respondents reported an increase in activity. There was a dip in landlord instructions coming onto the rental market, with this indicator remaining flat or negative since 2016. Rental growth expectations, were positive for the last quarter, with a net balance of almost a third more chartered surveyors predicting an increase.

Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at RICS, said: “The housing market typically tends to see a pick-up in activity at around this time of the year and the feedback from respondents to the latest survey does seem to be capturing this tone. However, once this seasonal pattern has been allowed for the underlying trend in transactions remains broadly flat.”