Scotland business

Scottish house prices 'to keep rising'

estate agent window Image copyright PA

Scottish house prices and sales look set to keep rising in the first quarter of 2016, according to a new report.

Rising demand from would-be buyers and a small increase in properties coming onto the market led to a rise in newly-agreed sales last month.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) described the market as "unusually buoyant" in December.

The organisation said its members expected the trend to continue in the short-term at least.

The Rics UK residential market survey found that a net balance of 35% of Scottish surveyors questioned forecast a rise in transactions between January and March.

A total net balance of 24% of surveyors also expected average prices to increase this quarter.

But Rics warned supply was still failing to meet demand across the housing market.

Rising prices

Sarah Speirs, director of Rics in Scotland, said: "The Scottish housing market has experienced an unusually buoyant December, with growth in transactions, demand and a small increase in properties coming onto the market.

"Despite this growth in new instructions, the chronic shortage of housing supply in Scotland continues to result in rising house prices and rents across the country.

"To remedy the shortage, Scottish government policy is, and for a considerable amount of time has been, aimed at supporting demand and, more crucially, the new-build market and home ownership."

Throughout 2015, surveyors reported almost continual growth in prices and this went on into December, with a net balance of 29% more respondents reporting a rise in house prices.

Rics recently launched a document which aims to inform political parties of the role property plays in driving Scotland's economic growth ahead of the Scottish parliamentary elections in May.

Ms Speirs added: "The recommendations within this report focus primarily on vital methods of increasing supply and maintaining existing housing stock to provide a robust, sustainable approach to address Scotland's current housing market needs."

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