Rise In House Prices Predicted

House prices in Scotland are expected to rise by 5% over the course of the year due to a lack of properties entering the market, according to a report.

The latest residential market survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said prices are being driven up as supply fails to meet a rising demand for homes.

The survey found that across the UK, a net balance of 43% more surveyors noted price rises and growth in August.

In Scotland, 28% more members said they expect prices to continue rising over the next three months.

RICS said analysis using Office for National Statistics (ONS) data suggests property values are likely to rise by around 6% across the UK over the course of 2015 and 5% in Scotland.

Sarah Speirs, director of RICS in Scotland, said: "Given current market conditions, the latest data unsurprisingly shows house prices continuing to rise, and at an accelerating pace.

"As the Scottish Government increases investment in initiatives such as Help to Buy, which further stimulates demand while failing to address the critical issue of housing supply, more needs to be done to increase and expand housing supply.

"Despite reported price growth, the agreed sales balance in Scotland edged upwards and demand remains steady, but a more robust recovery in activity is continuing to be held back in part by the lack of stock on the market.''

In the lettings market, the study found that 20% of surveyors predict a rise in rents during the next three months.

RICS said demand is outstripping a "modest'' upturn in new properties entering the market, sparking concern among some respondents to the survey.

Jonathan Gordon, from letting agent Clan Gordon Limited in Edinburgh, said: "As a regulated and professional property manager we must work to ensure best value for our clients.

"I am becoming concerned, however, at the scale of the rent increases in central Edinburgh and feel these are in danger of becoming unaffordable.''

John Gell, from Simply Let, said: "Tenant demand has strengthened while supply has remained static and this is putting upward pressure on rents, with well-presented properties finding tenants quickly.''

The Scottish Government recently announced it will bring in rent controls in areas of high pressure.

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