Scotland’s housing market showing improvement

Rising prices and burgeoning demand from buyers have led to more homes coming on to the property market as it continues to recover, according to a report.

Property prices across Scotland - including in Glasgow (pictured) - have increased. Picture: PA

It appears that people who may have been waiting for the right time to sell are choosing to do so now, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said.

Last month 48% more surveyors reported increases rather than decreases in new instructions, up from 24% in the previous month.

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Recent price rises look set to continue steadily, Rics’s residential market survey for August also said. A balance of 43% more surveyors expect further price growth in Scotland over the next three months.

Rics Scotland director Sarah Speirs said: “We are starting to see more people return to the housing market. There are buyers are out there and prices are edging upwards.

“It is important, however, that prices do not rise to such an extent that they become unaffordable. For the market to work properly, it’s vital that property is both accessible and affordable, and we’ll be monitoring the situation very carefully as the housing sector continues to recover.”

The number of potential buyers increased in August with 73% more respondents reporting growing numbers of inquiries from would-be buyers, Rics said.

Although supply jumped “considerably” last month, it did not rise sharply enough to keep pace with “the sheer weight of demand”, the report found.

Responding to the survey, Alexander Inglis, of chartered surveyors CKD Galbraith in Kelso in the Borders, said: “Things have picked up markedly in the last month with increased viewings and agreed sales. There seems to be much more optimism around and even properties that have been on the market for some time have been attracting offers.

“Prices have stayed fairly static.”

Chris Hall, from estate agents Rettie and Co in Edinburgh, told the study: “There is improved sentiment and confidence and transaction volumes are improving. There is a growing belief that the improvement will now be sustained.”

On the other side of the country, Craig Henderson, from chartered surveyors Graham and Sibbald in Glasgow, also sounded an upbeat note.

“We have seen continued improvement in both demand and prices in the last few months, particularly in the traditionally strong markets of Glasgow and the surrounding areas,” he said.

“Closing dates are becoming more common in these locations and we have seen a fair number of properties achieving prices above home report values when a strong competitive interest is generated.”

Rics said that, with the growth in the market evident, the home report continues to play an important role in providing information to potential buyers on the condition and value of the properties they are looking at.

Ms Speirs said: “As the market picks up, it is vital that individuals have access to detailed information which helps them make informed decisions when purchasing a property.

“The home report is a valuable tool to both buyers and sellers and it is very encouraging to see that this is recognised by end users.”

Elsewhere in the UK, each region saw supply increase as the apparent recovery continues to spread from the South East of England to other areas, Rics said.

The Rics housing market survey is said to be the longest-running monthly study of house prices in the UK, collecting data since January 1978.