Scottish homebuyer enquiries fall and sales expected to flatten

13/07/2023

HOUSE prices in Scotland are expected to be broadly flat over the next three months following a reduction in both housing demand and supply in June, according to the latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Residential Market Survey.

A net balance of 30% of Scottish respondents stated that house prices rose over the past three months, however looking forward, a net balance of just 2% was recorded for price expectations over the next three months. This is in keeping with a flat picture.

This compared to the national average of -55%. So, whilst surveyors in Scotland expect that prices will be broadly flat, their outlook is less pessimistic than surveyors in other regions of the UK.

Regarding the demand indicators, a net balance of -18% of respondents in Scotland reported that new buyer enquiries fell. Although remaining in negative territory, this is a more modest decline than was seen in May when a net balance of -35% of respondents saw demand falling.

A net balance of -24% of respondents reported a fall in new properties coming onto the market in Scotland in June, a similar figure that has been seen in the past few surveys. 

Meanwhile, looking at transactions, a net balance of 8% of Scottish respondents reported a rise in newly agreed sales. But this is expected to flatten with a net balance of 3% of surveyors expecting sales to rise over the coming months.  

Ian Morton MRICS of Bradburne & Co in St Andrews commented: “The summer school holidays are upon us and the added lack of confidence in the general economy with higher interest rates has meant the property market has stagnated this summer. The hesitancy is from sellers coming to the market and buyers paying over the home report value.”

Greg Davidson MRICS of Graham + Sibbald in Perth said: “The market continues to perform reasonably well as some sectors still have an unsatisfied demand. Increasing interest rates and the summer holiday season may keep the market slightly subdued but the underlying market remains stable.”

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