Scotland business

Housing market slowed in Scotland, Rics survey suggests

estate agent window Image copyright PA
Image caption An increased availability of properties is been a factor in the market slowdown

The growth in Scotland's housing market has slowed to its lowest rate in a year, according to surveyors.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) found that the number of people looking to buy a home in February increased at the slowest rate since April last year.

Statistics showed that a lack of properties for sale meant that house prices continued to rise.

However, the report expects the market to pick up over the summer months.

Rics' latest residential market survey suggests the initial surge in demand driven by the more accessible housing market had started to ease off slowly.

A net balance of 24% of surveyors reported a growth in inquiries from people looking to make a purchase.

The comparable figure for January was a 34% net balance of surveyors, while December recorded a 52% balance.

'Lack of properties'

Statistics in the survey also suggest the number of homes being placed on the market for sale failed to pick up and supply was still "falling well short of required levels".

This lack of available properties helped continue the rise in house prices last month, with a balance of 45% more chartered surveyors reporting prices increasing rather than falling.

This increase means that the cost of a home has now risen across Scotland for 10 months in a row.

Rics Scotland director Sarah Speirs said: "The growth in buyer numbers that we've seen for some months started to slow down in February, as the surge in interest sparked towards the end of last summer began to level off."

She added: "While this does not mean an end to the increasing activity we've been seeing recently, it does suggest that the pent-up demand generated throughout the downturn is gradually exhausting itself."

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