House prices and home sales activity increased in Scotland last month, according to a monthly survey.
A new balance of 53% of Scottish respondents in the December Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) Residential Market Survey reported rising prices.
The number of newly agreed sales in Scotland was also higher for 15% of surveyors last month.
However it is anticipated the new lockdown, its restrictions and the related economic challenges will weigh in on activity in the next few months.
Greg Davidson, of Graham and Sibbald in Perth, said: “2020 saw the Scottish country house market come to life with demand significantly outstripping supply, resulting in strong and increasing sale prices and multiple offers at closing dates.
“Following a period of further Covid uncertainty early in 2021, spring should reinvigorate this market again.”
The number of properties listed for sale in Scotland in December was lower than the previous month, with a net balance of minus 4% in new instructions to sell, according to the survey.
More respondents in Scotland also said they expect sales activity to reduce in the next three months than said they expected it to rise (a net balance of minus 5%).
Commenting on the UK picture, Rics chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said: “Although the housing market remains open for business in the midst of the latest lockdown, there is a sense from respondents to the survey that the new restrictions will still impact on transaction activity over the coming months.
“This is most visible in the negative reading for sales expectations over the next three months when typically, with the expiry of the stamp duty holiday approaching, this series would be expected to remain firmly in positive territory.
“Looking beyond this immediate time horizon, the feedback from Rics members is that the uplift in prices over the past year will be sustained, for good or ill, as the macro picture gradually improves on the back of the rollout of the Covid vaccination programme.
“More significantly, private rents are envisaged to outpace price gain as supply continues to fall short of demand with anecdotal reports of landlords exiting the market.”
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