Scotland business

Scottish house prices 'pushed rapidly upwards'

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Scottish house prices were pushed "rapidly upwards" last month as property supply continued to lag demand, according to a survey.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) found house sales and buyer inquiries in Scotland grew steadily in March.

Its UK Residential Market Survey saw more surveyors expecting prices to increase over the next three months.

But recent price gains are expected to be much more moderate over the quarter.

The survey found 21% more surveyors reporting a rise in house prices during March.

Overall the demand for residential property remained steady in Scotland, with 11% more surveyors reporting an increase in new buyer inquiries, and 9% more surveyors reporting an increase in newly agreed sales.

Rics Scotland director Sarah Speirs said: "The initial boost given to the housing market by the Help to Buy scheme has begun to dissipate and activity levels have slipped back.

"The new Land and Building Transaction Tax was implemented at the beginning of April and we will monitor the potential impact this has had on all market levels.

"There have been indications of price increases in recent months, as the supply of stock to the market continue to fall.

"Anecdotal evidence does suggest that election uncertainty and the impact of the drop in oil prices may be having some impact on the market, but underlying the trends visible in the latest survey indicates a very real housing crisis which will urgently need to be addressed by the next UK government."

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