Survey reveals ‘imbalance’ between supply and demand in nation’s housing market


THE latest RICS Residential Market Survey has outlined the ‘imbalance’ between demand and supply facing Scotland’s housing market.

A net balance of +8% of respondents said there was an increase in new buyer enquiries. However, a net balance of -8% of respondents said there was a decrease in new instructions to sell, meaning an increase in demand for properties but a decrease in supply – a trend that has been evident for the past seven months.

This, RICS stated, may have impacted on newly agreed sales in February with a net balance of -18% reporting a decrease in newly agreed sales. The lack of supply also appears to be pushing up prices, with a net balance of +74% of Scottish respondents reporting price increases.

The survey did reveal a more positive outlook for activity in the market with a net balance of +25% expecting sales to increase. Prices are also expected to continue rising according to a net balance of +46%.

RICS member David Cruickshank from D M Hall LLP, based in Elgin, said, “The local market is still characterised by the lack of supply. Consequently, most sales are competitive, resulting in closing dates, multiple offers and increasing house prices.”

Phiddy Robertson, associate of RICS and part of the Galbraith Group in Inverness, commented, “There seems to be a hiatus in the market we feel caused by sellers reluctant to list because they worry they won’t find a property to buy. We expect things to ease as we move into spring.”

RICS Member Thomas Baird from Select Surveyors, based in Glasgow, added, “The residential market is still healthy in terms of demand for most central areas and surrounding. The investor market is suffering a lack of supply, driving prices at the lower end upwards.”