Scottish housing market activity picks up after referendum

Sarah Speirs
Sarah Speirs

Scottish house price growth remained steady as demand soared during October, according to the latest RICS UK Residential Market Survey.

Across Scotland new buyer demand witnessed a steep growth, as 81 per cent more surveyors reported an increase in new buyer enquiries as activity intensified following Septembers referendum result. Meanwhile across the rest of the UK demand dipped to a net balance of -18 per cent.

In addition to stronger buyer interest, sales expectations remain positive with a net balance of 55 per cent of chartered surveyors predicting a rise in sales over the next three months. Significantly, Scotland and Northern Ireland had the most optimistic view on house prices in the run up to Christmas (net balances of 36 per cent and 37 per cent respectively).

Meanwhile, stock coming onto the market also saw the largest increase this year, with 39 per cent of respondents reporting an increase in new instructions during October. Despite an increase in supply, demand for property continues to outpace and this was further witnessed in the lettings market where tenant demand continues to grow strongly across the country. Over the last quarter, this has particularly been the case in Scotland and rent expectations remain generally firm, with respondents’ anticipating an increase of around 2.5 per cent over the next twelve months across the UK

Sarah Speirs, director RICS Scotland, said: “Despite the pick-up in the sales market, demand to rent property is growing and coupled with a drop in supply of new stock to let this is helping to underpin the rental outlook for landlords pretty much across Scotland.

“Post referendum confidence in the market has seen a surge in activity, both in demand for property and an increase in homes coming onto the market. Last month’s announcement on land and buildings transaction tax may also have had an impact on the higher end of the market.”

Anthony Perriam MRICS, Rettie Borders, Scottish Borders, added: “The return of confidence following the outcome of the independence referendum, and the recently announced changes to the stamp duty regime from April 2015, have brought many more buyers into the autumn marketplace than expected.”

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