Scotland business

Scottish house prices 'continuing to rise'

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Scottish house prices are continuing to rise despite a slight easing in recent buyer demand, according to a report.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said prices were being fuelled by a shortage of new stock.

Its latest UK Residential Market Survey showed 38% more chartered surveyors in Scotland saw house prices rise rather than fall last month.

The outlook for the year ahead was positive, with a net balance of 54% expecting to see further price growth.

The survey suggested buyer demand levelled off in October, following 12 months of steady growth. Supply also remained broadly unchanged.

Despite the moderation in demand, sales activity continued to rise, with a net balance of 26% more respondents seeing an increase in transactions.

Registers of Scotland reported last month that the number of houses sold in Scotland had risen to its highest level for more than seven years.

A total of just over 28,000 properties were submitted for registration between July and September - a year-on-year quarterly rise of 6.5%.

However house prices fell slightly, with the average home selling for just under £169,400.

'Legacy hitting home'

Rics director Sarah Speirs said: "It is hard to get away from the issue of supply when it comes to the current state of the housing market.

"The legacy of the drop in new build following the onset of the global financial crisis is now really hitting home, with both the sales and letting markets continuing to show demand outstripping supply on a month-by-month basis.

"Rics would like to see a commitment from the next Scottish government administration that delivers a definite plan for delivering attainable targets across all housing tenures to ensure that supply needs are met."

The Rics survey also indicated that demand continued to outpace supply in the Scottish lettings market in the three months to October.

As a result, rental expectations remained strong, with a net balance of 12% of respondents expecting a rise in rents over the next three months.

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