Monday, 10 December 2012
Scottish buyers return to the housing market
Buyer interest grew across Scotland last month, says the latest RICS housing market survey.
Enquiries from would-be buyers saw a rise in most parts of Scotland last month (net balance +22 percent). Although demand is still at a historically low level, it would appear that those who are in a position to do so are gradually looking to test the market. Meanwhile, the amount of homes coming up for sale also increased during November (net balance +32 percent).
Sarah Speirs, Director RICS Scotland
Modest drops were visible in relation to house prices, albeit at a slower pace than was seen earlier in the year. A net balance of 16 percent more Scottish chartered surveyors reported falling prices during November. While slightly up in October’s reading, this still suggests that the market is now beginning to stabilise.
Looking ahead, Scottish chartered surveyors are optimistic that activity levels should continue their gentle rise with 20 percent more respondents expecting sales to increase rather than decrease over the coming three months. The price picture is, however, likely remain rather flatter in contrast.
Across the UK, London was once again the only part of the country to see prices increase, with surveyors in the capital reporting a net balance of +40 percent. Northern Ireland and Wales experienced the most significant drops with respondents in those areas reporting net balances of -49 and -36 percent respectively.
Craig Henderson, Graham & Sibbald, Glasgow, Glasgow and West Scotland, commented: “We have seen the typical flurry of activity during the first few weeks of November, with sellers new to the market keen to get the property on the market and exposed to buyers before the traditional festive slowdown.
“During the last month, sales appear to have been achieved where sellers are prepared to be realistic with their price expectations. I expect the market will start the traditional slowdown which will continue into January, as we have seen over the last several years.
“I would however highlight to would-be sellers, that as most buyers wish to ensure there current property is sold before committing to a new purchase, that anyone currently on the market who finds a buyer will immediately become a buyer themselves, so will be looking for suitable purchase options.”
Sarah Speirs, Director RICS Scotland, commented: “There is certainly some optimism creeping back into the housing market in Scotland, and it is encouraging to see an increase in potential buyers across parts of the country where the market has particularly suffered in recent years.
“That said, there is still a long way to go and the long standing barriers to home ownership are still very much a problem for the likes of first time buyers. Additionally, the macro-economic picture continues to weigh heavy on the market and continues prevent any really significant boost in activity.”
RICS housing market survey is the longest running monthly survey of house prices in the UK, collecting data since January 1978. The survey is cited by the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee at its monthly interest rate setting meetings.