By Daniel Hunter

The Scottish housing market should end the year on a somewhat flat note with transaction levels expected to stabilise, says the latest RICS UK housing market survey (9 October 2012).

During September, a net balance of four percent more respondents in Scotland predicted transactions to grow during the final three months of the year. This represents a slight dip on the previous month’s figure of +11 percent.

"The autumn market has now kicked in, with new properties coming onto the market, and more importantly, at reasonable level of sales," Chris Highton FRICS, Allied Surveyors Scotland plc, Selkirk, said.

"Volumes are still way down from the peak, so it would be nice to see levels increasing a little, but there are signs that things maybe improving."

Demand from potential buyers remained stable in most parts of the country with one percent more surveyors in Scotland seeing decreases rather than increases in new buyer enquiries. Interest from would be buyers has not seen any significant growth since the spring of 2011.

Elsewhere, Scottish surveyors’ price predictions remained squarely negative with 19 percent more respondents expecting prices to fall over the coming three months. Price predictions in Scotland have now been in negative territory for two years.

Last month, prices in the market continued to fall at a pace consistent with previous months. A net balance of 29 percent more surveyors reported falls rather than rises, from -28 in August.

The amount of homes coming onto the market during September also fell away, as 40 percent more respondents claimed that supply had fallen rather than risen.

"The housing market was relatively flat during September but surveyors are optimistic that the run in to Christmas could see an increase in activity in many areas across Scotland. Prices are still dipping but at a much lower rate than seen in previous months," Sarah Speirs, director RICS Scotland, said.

"Despite this, problems still exist and more needs to be done to get the market moving. Unrealistic expectations on the part of vendors seem to be stalling the transaction process. Meanwhile, although the funding for lending scheme appears to be improving mortgage availability, those at the very bottom of the housing ladder are still struggling."

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