Scottish house prices driven up due to ‘pre-election uncertainty’
House prices in Scotland rose in April ahead of the General Election with 31 per cent more surveyors reporting house price increases, according to the latest RICS UK Residential Market Survey.
Scotland was the only country in the UK where the number of properties coming onto the market rose (16 per cent more surveyors reported more properties coming onto the market), while across the rest of the UK, new instructions slipped to a net balance of -21 per cent - the eighth consecutive drop in the last nine months.
On the demand side, buyer activity has fallen since the start of the year - significantly down from the net balance of 79 per cent in October 2014 to 15 per cent in the latest April survey data, with some surveyors suggesting that these trends may have in part been a result of uncertainty ahead of the election.
Meanwhile in the lettings sector, there was no slowing in the growth of tenant demand, which is helping to underpin higher expectations for rents.
Sarah Speirs, director RICS Scotland, said: “There have been indications of more moderate price gains in Scotland in recent months, but activity indicators remain positive and unlike across the rest of the UK, Scotland continues to see moderate growth in supply, which is being met by a steadily increasing rise in demand.
“Anecdotally, the uncertainty created by the General Election, has impacted market activity and it remains early days to assess what impact the new Land Building and Transaction Tax (LBTT) is having on property prices in different parts of the country – and at different price bands.”