Scottish property prices predicted to rise
Surveyors in Scotland have predicted that property prices will continue to rise over the next three months.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said the forecast was made by a net balance of 49% of respondents to its monthly survey.
It said the increase was in part being driven by a decline in the number of houses coming onto the market.
Rics added that supply continued to fall behind demand in most parts of the UK.
Its latest Residential Market Survey suggested Scotland and Northern Ireland's housing markets were continuing to outperform the rest of the UK in terms of price growth.
It also found sales expectations over the next quarter remained positive, with 37% of respondents expecting an increase in transactions across Scotland.
Last month's survey suggested that Scotland and Northern Ireland had more buyer inquiries, stronger price growth and a more confident outlook than the rest of the UK.
Rics Scotland director Sarah Speir said: "With supply restrictions continuing to impact the market in Scotland, it is imperative that the Scottish government and industry look at viable solutions to the lack of housing and increase new-start targets in order to meet needs.
"Respondents have also reported increased activity at the higher end of the market in the lead-up to the introduction of Land and Buildings Transaction Tax in April and we will continue to monitor any impact of the new tax on all levels of the market."
Meanwhile, a report by Bank of Scotland has suggested that Scotland's largest cities need thousands of new family homes, in part because the number of downsizers is dwindling.
The bank found that only 8% of over-50s had any plans to move to a smaller home - making it harder for second-steppers to move up the property ladder.
It said Scotland needed to expand the supply of good quality homes available both to buy and to rent.
Bank of Scotland commercial banking managing director Alasdair Gardner said: "This study identifies the major pressures facing Scotland's housing market with demand for new rental and privately owned homes going to increase in the coming years.
"There is no quick fix to this challenge and facing up to it requires a sustained programme of investment."
He added: "All parts of the housing industry - government, local authorities, investors and housebuilders must work together to ensure we build the homes Scotland needs."