The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors expects the easing of pandemic restrictions in coming months to bring more activity back
The housing market has slowed further with lockdown, and more in Scotland than other parts of the UK.
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is reporting that interest from potential buyers was down in February.
The number of properties being put on the market was also down, for the fourth consecutive month.
More surveyors reported prices rising than falling.
RICS expects the easing of pandemic restrictions in coming months to bring more activity back.
Unlike last spring, the housing market has remained open in Scotland during lockdown in 2021, but with social distancing restrictions.
Scotland had the weakest figures for new buyer inquiries of any region in the UK.
The only region that was weaker for selling instructions was Yorkshire, and the only part of the UK with weaker price growth was London.
In the monthly RICS report, comments from agents noted some pockets of activity.
In rural Scotland, agents noted strong demand for properties from Elgin, Fraserburgh, the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway. They said home sales can be quick due to slow supply.
Phiddy Robertson of the Galbraith Group in Inverness, said: The market is starved of good quality property. Buyers are paying significant premiums to secure attractive coastal property and we are seeing more interest than ever from southern buyers looking for second homes.
In Edinburgh and Glasgow, surveyors found the market patchier, noting that more flats are coming on the market as private landlords sell.
In the housing rental market, property availability dropped the most in Scotland.
John Brown, a rental agent in Edinburgh, commented: The market is fragmented, with fewer enquiries and longer void periods between tenancies. It’s clear landlords are looking to reduce portfolios. More legislation, and Energy Performance Certificate standards being enforced, add to costs.
Students are registering for next year but trying to be uncommitted – that’s the Covid effect, he said.
In Dumfries at the Savills agency, Carolyn Davies said renters are looking for demand for rural properties “but broadband speeds now need to be established prior to letting”.
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