Scotland business

Scottish house prices 'holding up', say surveyors

House with 'sold' sign Image copyright PA
Image caption The survey indicated an increase in the number of homes coming onto the market last month

House prices in Scotland are holding up as a result of growing demand and a lack of supply of homes, according to Scottish surveyors.

The findings by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) are in contrast to other parts of the UK, especially London, where both sales and new buyer demand fell sharply.

Rics said demand for new homes in Scotland grew in July.

It noted that more surveyors reported a growth in new buyer inquiries.

The number of homes coming onto the market also increased in July, with 8% of respondents reporting an increase in new instructions,

Rics said the continuing supply and demand imbalance was creating more optimism in the Scottish market, compared with the rest of the UK.

In July, more surveyors reported prices rise over the month, while 32% of respondents expected house prices to increase over the next three months.

However some surveyors said the Commonwealth Games, the school holidays and the approaching independence referendum led to a slowdown in house sales in their areas last month.

Market 'imbalance'

Rics director Sarah Speirs said: "The housing market in Scotland continues to show an imbalance between supply and demand in Scotland and this impacts on prices.

"With demand from new buyers at the highest rate since December 2013 and fewer properties coming onto the market, there is certainly the need for investment in regeneration and creation of new stock in order to keep prices at a sustainable level."

Last month, Registers of Scotland reported that the average price of a house in Scotland had risen by 5.9% in the past year.

It said the average cost of a home in the three months to June was just over £162,000.

The total value of sales across Scotland in the quarter increased by 29.7%, compared with a year ago, to stand at almost £3.95bn.

The number of sales also increased by more than 22%, indicating sustained growth over the past year.

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