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Post Referendum Housing Market Boost

The Scottish housing market saw a sharp rise in demand from new buyers during the month of October, according to the latest UK Residential Market Survey from RICS.

The survey found that 81% more surveyors reported an increase in new buyer enquiries as activity intensified following September’s referendum result. Interestingly, the rise comes at a time when demand across the rest of the UK demand dipped to a net balance of -18%.

In addition to stronger buyer interest, sales expectations remain positive, with a net balance of 55% of chartered surveyors predicting a rise in sales over the next three months. Significantly, Scotland and Northern Ireland had the most optimistic view on house prices in the run up to Christmas, with net balances of 36% and 37% respectively.

Meanwhile, stock coming onto the market also saw the largest increase this year, with 39% of respondents reporting an increase in new instructions during October.

Despite an increase in the number of new properties on the market, supply continues to be outpaced by the demand, and this was further witnessed in the lettings market where tenant demand continues to grow strongly across the country. Over the last quarter, this has particularly been the case in Scotland and rent expectations remain generally firm, with respondents’ anticipating an increase of around 2.5% over the next twelve months across the UK.

“Despite the pick-up in the sales market, demand to rent property is growing and coupled with a drop in supply of new stock to let this is helping to underpin the rental outlook for landlords pretty much across Scotland,” commented Sarah Speirs, Director RICS Scotland.

“Post referendum confidence in the market has seen a surge in activity, both in demand for property and an increase in homes coming onto the market,” she added. “Last month’s announcement on land and buildings transaction tax may also have had an impact on the higher end of the market.”

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