Demand for properties dropped again in May, new research finds

Demand for properties dropped last month – though prices remained steady, according to new research.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) UK Residential Market Survey found that the number of new buyer enquiries in Scotland remained negative for the fourth consecutive month in May.

A net balance of -20% of chartered surveyors reported a decline in demand during May, and a net balance of -17% reported a decline in transactions.

However, the study found that despite the drop-in activity, house prices across Scotland remained firm – in part due to the consistent lack of supply.

Marion Currie, a Rics registered valuer at Galbraith, said: “Buyers still very active, but vendors increasingly cautious about entering the market which is affecting stock levels and buyer choice.”

The net balance is the proportion of respondents reporting a rise in prices minus those reporting a fall, with a negative net balance implying that more respondents are seeing decreases than increases.

During May, a net balance of 17% more chartered surveyors reported an increase in house prices, although the short-term outlook is slightly less positive, the study found.

In the Scottish lettings market, tenant demand increased slightly for the third month in a row, while landlord instructions were “flat”, though picking up slightly from a persistent negative theme over much of the past three years.