Scots fail to respond as more homes up for sale

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The supply of new homes rose last month as vendors returned to test the pre-Christmas market, according to a report.

But the boost was not met by a corresponding demand from buyers in Scotland and prices continued to fall in October, chartered surveyors found.

They said overall activity in the housing market is still “very low” in most parts of the country but voiced hope that the picture will improve over the next three months.

The figures were revealed by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in its monthly survey of the housing market.

Last month, 44 per cent more surveyors reported rises rather than falls in the number of vendors placing their properties on the market.

Despite this, 8 per cent more surveyors recorded falls rather than rises in inquiries from new buyers and the number of transactions which went through remained relatively stable.

Prices also fell in October, although this was at a slower pace than in previous months. Across the UK, all areas saw improvements in levels of demand, except for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

But chartered surveyors said they were hopeful that the Scottish market will improve. Sixteen per cent more surveyors forecast rises in transactions over the next three months.

RICS Scotland director Sarah Speirs said: “The number of potential buyers going out and viewing property saw a welcome boost last month.

“It seems that with Christmas around the corner, those who are in a position to buy decided to get out there and see what is available.

“That being said, overall 
activity is still very low in most parts of the country and what the market desperately needs is for this to translate into actual sales.

“Government initiatives are all well and good, but they need time to bed in and take effect, and access to affordable 
mortgage finance is still very difficult for many first-time