Property prices rise as housing crisis continues

House prices in Scotland were pushed upwards last month according to a survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).

21 per cent more surveyors reported a rise in house prices in March and 27 per cent more surveyors expect prices to increase over the next three months - while demand remains largely unchanged.

Rics Scotland director Sarah Speirs said: “The initial boost given to the housing market by the Help to Buy scheme has begun to dissipate and activity levels have slipped back.

“The new Land and Building Transaction Tax was implemented at the beginning of April we will monitor the potential impact this has had on all market levels.

“There have been indications of price increases in recent months, as the supply of stock to the market continue to fall. Anecdotal evidence does suggest that election uncertainty and the impact of the drop in oil prices may be having some impact on the market, but underlying the trends visible in the latest survey indicates a very real housing crisis which will urgently need to be addressed by the next UK government.”

Price gains are expected to be more moderate in Wales and Scotland, while the strongest house price growth was in Northern Ireland.

Dr John Boyle, director of research and strategy at estate agents Rettie and Co, said the housing shortage in Scotland was “down to a lack of investment from private investors and austerity spending from local government”.