Scottish housing market 'in early hibernation'

Estate agent's window For the first time in two-and-a-half years, no surveyors reported a monthly rise in house prices

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The Scottish housing market went into "early hibernation" last month as fewer properties came on the market and the number of sales dipped, according to a new report.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) survey suggested sellers were nervous about eurozone uncertainty affecting the UK economy.

Restricted mortgage availability also impacted on the market, it indicated.

Just over half of surveyors questioned said house prices fell in October.

A total of 47% said they stayed the same.

For the first time since March 2009, no surveyors reported a monthly rise in house prices.

RICS Scotland said October was very different to September, which saw a flurry of activity from sellers putting their homes on the market and a small increase in buyers.

As winter sets in, chartered surveyors expect the Scottish housing market to remain subdued - with fewer sellers and potential buyers leading to a drop in sales.

RICS Scotland director Graeme Hartley said: "The Scottish housing market went into early hibernation in October with prices falling and sales dipping.

"With the chaotic events in the euro area threatening to spill over to the UK and banks still imposing tough conditions on loans to first-time buyers, any recovery in sales is still likely to be relatively modest.

"This will inevitably leave many people who would like to own a home unable to access the market."

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