Scotland business

Scottish house prices 'fall again', surveyors say

Woman walks past estate agent's window
Image caption Surveyors say the seasonal slowdown in the housing market has come earlier than usual

Scottish surveyors have reported a slowing of the housing market with prices slipping even further.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said 20% more members reported that prices fell rather than rose in November.

However, RICS said the pace of decline in Scotland was slower than the rest of the UK, with Northern Ireland and the West Midlands seeing steep price falls.

Surveyors said they did not expect the situation to improve soon.

Their expectations for house prices over the next three months remained negative and the number of sales were also predicted to fall.

RICS said the November figures showed first-time buyers were still in short supply and this was down to the difficulty in getting mortgages.

Its spokesperson for Scotland, Sarah Speirs, said: "Despite some better economic data, fears over how future spending cuts will impact on the jobs market are clearly still weighing heavily on potential purchasers' minds, with many deciding to 'wait and see' until the new year."

According to many of the surveyors questioned, the seasonal slowdown has come earlier than usual.

John Bradburne, with Bradburne and Co in St Andrews, said: "The market is very gloomy and worse still fickle.

"The stock is there and we are sure that there are sufficient potential buyers."

"It's just a lingering and very general mistrust of the medium term future in general economic terms. Perhaps it may brighten up in the spring."

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