Scotland business

Scottish house sales 'falter' at start of year

Glasgow tenement Image copyright Thinkstock

The number of house sales across Scotland "faltered" in December, according to a report.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) found the number of potential new house buyers in December 2016 was only "marginally positive".

This compared with much stronger figures for November, the RICS said.

But predictions for new sales over the next three months remained steady, according to the institution's UK residential market survey.

The survey found that 2% more chartered surveyors saw a fall rather than a rise in sales across Scotland last month.

New instructions to sell also failed to see any pick-up, marking the eighth straight month of declining supply.

Price pressure

Respondents to the survey continued to highlight low stock levels as a key concern, creating a lack of choice for would-be buyers, the report showed.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: "A familiar story relating to supply continues to drive both the sales and lettings markets impacting on activity, prices and rents.

"The latest RICS survey provides further evidence that both price and rent pressures are continuing to spread from the more highly-valued to more modestly-valued parts of the market for good or ill."

Scottish house prices continued to go up in December - possibly down to the lack of supply - with 32% more chartered surveyors reporting a rise rather than fall in prices in December, up from 27% in November.

The RICS said prices were expected to rise over the next three months.

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