Scotland business

Surveyors expect Scotland's housing market to pick up

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Image caption The RICS survey found 35% of respondents expected growth over the next three months

A survey has shown that although many surveyors believe Scotland's housing market to have slowed, sales are expected to rise in the coming months.

Many think that the dip in demand seen during September was a result of referendum uncertainty.

The monthly survey, conducted by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), also showed that fewer homes came on the market.

Despite this, 33% of respondents had seen house prices rise.

Demand dropped to its lowest level since 2013 during September and 14% of respondents reported a decline in new instructions - the lowest since September 2012.

However, one third of those surveyed had seen a growth in house prices over the last three months.

Positive expectations

In the long term, the forecast was also positive, with 35% of those surveyed predicting growth over the coming three months.

UK house prices are expected to rise by an average of 2.1% outside of London.

Director RICS Scotland Sarah Speirs said: "The effects of the referendum appeared particularly significant to the housing market during September, with a considerable drop in the number of interested buyers and stock coming onto the market.

"Looking ahead, we expect to see an increase in supply and demand as the market settles, but with interest rates still at historically low levels and long term house price expectations positive, households are not under any real economic pressure to sell.

"Next year, we expect the house price outlook to be far more subdued."

'Stability and security'

Kevin MacDonald, of Graham and Sibbald chartered surveyors, said: "With the outcome of the referendum decided it is now time to re-group and build upon the improvements seen in the market during the earlier part of 2014.

"Stability and security will be key factors to help maintain an active market through the winter."

The survey reported an increase in the Scottish lettings market, where demand has continued to grow, even though tenant demand outstrips new instructions to let.

Chartered surveyors also noted the continued positive impact of the Home Report on Scotland's housing market. Overall, 70% said that it has reduced the need for multiple surveys.

The government has been working with RICS on the five-year review process for the Home Report, which will conclude at the end of this year.

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