Rising sales brings encouragement for Scottish housing market


THE Scottish housing market has enjoyed an encouraging start to 2020, with sales picking up in the first weeks of the year according to new research.

The newly released RICS Residential Market Survey showed that whilst the number of homes being listed for sale was ‘flat’ during January, the number of people looking to buy increased, according to a net balance of +22% of Scottish respondents.

This resulted in the number of newly agreed sales rising, with a net balance of +11% of surveyors saying there were more newly agreed sales in January compared to December.

Prices also continue to rise, according to the survey. A net balance of 32% of Scottish respondents said prices increased, the highest since July 2019, and higher than all UK regions other than Northern Ireland.

Respondents in Scotland are also confident about the outlook, with sales anticipated to rise both in the short term and for the year to come. A net balance of +70% of Scottish respondents expect prices to be higher in a year’s time, while a net balance of 54% expect sales activity to increase over the next 12 months.

Grant Robertson, MRICS of Allied Surveyors in Glasgow said, “Sales remain strong when there is something to sell. The modest post-election surge bodes well for 2020 but stock needs to start releasing or values will surge and kill the market.”

Graeme Lusk, MRICS of Walker Fraser Steele, based in Glasgow and Renfrewshire added, “The market is beginning to come out of its winter slumber. But there is still an under-supply of quality properties on the market and buyers waiting. A good time to put your property on the market.”

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist added, “The latest survey results point to a continued improvement in market sentiment over the month, building on a noticeable pick-up in the immediate aftermath of the General Election. It remains to be seen how long this newfound market momentum is sustained for, and political uncertainty may resurface towards the end of the year. But, at this point in time, contributors are optimistic regarding the outlook for activity over the next twelve months.”