Scottish market remains sluggish

The more optimistic outlook for the residential property market looked to have run out of steam in April as prices edged lower, says the latest RICS UK Housing Market survey.

Across Scotland, 24 percent more chartered surveyors reported falls rather than rises in house prices. Alongside this, expectations for future prices reached their lowest level this year with a net balance of 24 percent more respondents predicting further drops.

Demand from potential buyers did pick up in April with five percent more surveyors reporting increases rather than decreases in new buyer inquiries. Meanwhile, new instructions, a good indicator of supply coming onto the housing market, fell as 18 percent more respondents reported falls rather than rises in new homes coming up for sale.

With the stabilisation of newly agreed sales and new inquiries (demand) being more positive, coupled with new instructions (supply) falling, surveyors in Scotland predict that this could give more support to prices going forward.

Sarah Speirs, director, RICS Scotland, commented: “Renewed concerns over the economy and talk of a double dip recession dominating the headlines in recent weeks may well have served to undermine consumer confidence. What’s more, the continuing lack of affordable mortgage finance is still hindering many first time buyers who cannot afford to get a foot on the property ladder.”