Price rises slow as demand for homes falls
Homebuyer enquiries in Scotland fell again during August as wider economic challenges impacted further on market conditions, according to the RICS Residential Market Survey.
House prices in Scotland continued to rise, albeit at a less firm rate, but enquiries, sales and new instructions all dropped, continuing a downturn in activity that has been evident in the survey’s figures for several months.
Looking at new buyer enquiries, this is the fourth consecutive month of negative readings, with a net balance of -25% of Scottish respondents recorded.
Sales expectations have now been negative for four consecutive months (a net balance of -29% in the latest survey).
In terms of supply, the continued lack of homes coming onto the market is illustrated by the new instructions indicator being in negative territory for the 13th consecutive month.
This lack of supply has been a crucial factor in underpinning growth in house prices. A net balance of +32% of Scottish respondents reported an increase in house prices during August, down from +51% in July, but comfortably above the long run average.
Scottish respondents on balance expect prices to be higher in a year’s time while 12-month price expectations have eased in recent months.
John Brown, of John Brown and company in Edinburgh, said: “Expected caution is now more obvious as buyers react to cost increases but demand is still positive. The market for flats of which there are always more for sale is sensitive to pricing and purchaser ability to complete. Family housing with limited supply line is still competitive. Quieter times ahead.”
Tarrant Parsons, senior economist commented: “Concerns over the economic backdrop and rising interest rates continue to take their toll on market momentum, with strong activity early in the year now giving way to a more subdued picture.
“Moreover, given projections for the UK economy point to a potential recession emerging towards the end of 2022, respondents envisage housing sales continuing to slip in the coming months.
“For the time being at least, the lack of stock available on the market is still providing support to house prices, which continue to rise, even if the pace of growth has cooled over recent months.”