House sales increase after ‘modest post election surge’

The number of people looking to buy a house in Scotland has increased by 22%.

Sales in the Scottish housing market picked up with increased optimism in January, according to the latest official figures.

A net balance of 11% of surveyors in the RICS Residential Market Survey said there were more newly agreed sales in January compared to December.

This comes after a 22% increase in the number of people looking to buy.

Prices also continued to increase according to 32% of respondents, the highest since July 2019, and the second highest in the whole of the UK behind Northern Ireland.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “The latest survey results point to a continued improvement in market sentiment over the month, building on a noticeable pick-up in the immediate aftermath of the General Election.

“It remains to be seen how long this newfound market momentum is sustained for, and political uncertainty may resurface towards the end of the year.

“But, at this point in time, contributors are optimistic regarding the outlook for activity over the next 12 months.”

More than two-thirds (70%) of Scottish respondents expect prices to be higher in a year’s time.

Just over half (54%) expect sales activity to increase over the same period, the study suggested.

Grant Robertson, of Allied Surveyors in Glasgow, said: “Sales remain strong when there is something to sell.

“The modest post-election surge bodes well for 2020 but stock needs to start releasing or values will surge and kill the market.”

Graeme Lusk, of Walker Fraser Steele – based in Glasgow and Renfrewshire, added: “The market is beginning to come out of its winter slumber.

“But there is still an under-supply of quality properties on the market and buyers waiting.

“A good time to put your property on the market.”

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