House Prices on the Rise

by Mark Johnston

A survey report carried out in Scotland reported that house sales have begun to increase.  Whether you greet that with elation or desolation, the rise is tangible and further price increases are on their way.

The survey does show that there are quite realistic sellers out in the market these days and that there has been an increase in the number of properties sold in the last month.  The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in Scotland has reported seeing a huge jump in the number of properties being sold and bought.  This is a good sign along with the fact that the general house prices have fallen continuously in the last three months.

There were also mentions within the report about the continued lack of mortgage financing from lenders within the United Kingdom.  During April there was a massive 25 per cent rise in the number of surveys requested. This represents an 18 per cent rise in the number of surveys requested since March.  Market experts have now increased their estimates on the potential for increased house sales from 0 per cent a few months ago to 36 per cent this month and into the busy spring period.

Graeme Hartley from the RICS said “The number of newly-agreed sales over the past month would demonstrate that sellers are more realistic about current property prices and it is difficult to see it picking up materially over the coming months”

Good weather has lead to significantly more sales over the last few months and this trend, according to market experts, will continue over the summer months to come.  Then, we’ll blame the weather for the bad sales into the winter.  Greg Davidson of Graham & Sibbald has been heard saying that he was “quietly optimistic about the year ahead”.  Continues on and said “I am expecting values to remain reasonably constant for the foreseeable future but would hope to see an increase in the number of transactions.”

Those buyers who have the capital in the bank are taking the opportunity to secure further properties while prices are low and rates are very good.  Those who are struggling to secure either their mortgage rates or who are trying to put together their deposits best make a move while the sun is out.

House prices, according to market insiders, will remain relatively stable for the time being but many believe that we have seen the bottom of the barrel and prices will start to rise again.  Expectations over the next few months are that house prices will continue to fall and that rates will continue to present borrowers with good options.

Director of the RICS, Graeme Hartley said “The Scottish market remains relatively buoyant with active buyers and sellers, although the price levels remain subdued.

“The number of newly-agreed sales over the past month would demonstrate that sellers are more realistic about current property prices and it is difficult to see it picking up materially over the coming months.

“Although there are signs that some lenders may be reducing their grip on the purse strings, in particular with mortgages aimed at first-time buyers, there is still a long way to go before lending levels increase enough to have any real impact.

“Economic uncertainty may also continue to weigh on sentiment for a while to come.”



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