Scottish housing market starts to rebound but long-term caution remains


THE Scottish housing market has started to rebound following the easing of lockdown restrictions, new research has shown.

The RICS Residential Market Survey for July revealed a net balance of +100% of Scottish respondents saw an increase in new buyer enquiries, while a net balance of +79% saw a rise in newly agreed sales.

New instructions being listed for sale also rose, with by a net balance of +68% of respondents reporting an increase.

However, despite these improvements in market activity, surveyors are said to remain cautious about the months ahead due to economic uncertainty.

The net balance for sales expectations over the next three months is just +5%, while a net balance of -31% was recorded for sales expectations looking 12 months ahead.

Alan Kennedy MRICS of Shepherd Surveyors in Fraserburgh said, “Since the property market reopened on June 29th there has been an exceptionally high number of properties coming onto the market and high levels of demand from prospective purchasers, particularly in the low-mid price range.”

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist commented, “The strong impetus provided to the housing market is evident both in the results of the RICS survey and many of the anecdotal comments from respondents. However, it is interesting that there remains rather more caution about the medium term outlook with the macro environment, job losses and the ending or tapering of government support measures for the sector expected to take their toll. Significantly, some contributors are now even referencing the possibility of a boom followed by a bust.

“Meanwhile one of the other notable aspects of the survey is the feedback that there is a greater interest in properties that offer some features that help better manage future lockdowns whether it is access to green spaces, gardens or balconies.”

In the lettings market, RICS revealed that Scottish respondents noted a ‘firm recovery’ in tenant demand over the three months to July, posting a net balance of +29%. This is in stark contract to the figure of -22% in the previous survey.