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Scottish surveyors remain cautiously optimistic

While the majority of surveyors (64 per cent) reported a flat market with no change to Scottish house prices, 14 per cent reported a fall, up from five per cent in June. However, this is against a backdrop of a very active month, with newly agreed sales rocketing in Scotland (64 per cent from 20 per cent last month) reflecting a significantly higher number of completed transactions in July.

Demand for property, measured by the net balance of new buyer enquiries, went into the negative for the first time since September 2008, to -7. Difficulty in securing mortgages and increased uncertainty about the prospects for the economy may have contributed to caution from potential homebuyers.

The number of new vendor instructions, which in effect measures the amount of properties coming to the market, although still falling, edged up in July at -15 from -25 in June.

Looking forward, expectations for house price increases have become even more confident with 27 per cent more surveyors expecting prices to rise over the coming months, up from 17 per cent in June. Sales expectations also remain positive, with eight per cent more surveyors expecting sales to rise rather than fall, although this is down from the previous month.

Sarah Speirs, RICS Scotland Deputy Director said:

"The fall in the RICS house price measure is broadly consistent with most other recent data that has been released. This is a reflection of the more cautious stance from buyers.

"Significantly, the forward looking price expectation numbers suggest that this softer trend will continue through the second half of the year. However, agents are generally optimistic about house prices although not necessarily the level of activity in the market."

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