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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 February 2006, 00:14 GMT
Optimism in housing market soars
House sale signs
Buyers feel positive about the market, new figures suggest
Confidence in the Scottish housing market is booming, according to a new economic study.

Experts at the Clydesdale Bank said optimism was at its highest level since their research began in 2001.

Latest figures showed almost 75% of people in Scotland expected to see property prices rise this year.

At the same time, the survey showed the prospect of higher council tax bills was deterring many first-time buyers from purchasing.

Almost a quarter of buyers were delaying stepping on to the property ladder until councils revealed their charges for the year ahead.

However, the study found seven out of 10 buyers were willing to offer more than 10% above the asking price - an increase of nine per cent in the last six months.

More people are looking to buy and so buyers are willing to submit higher bids to see off rivals
Steve Reid
Clydesdale Bank

As many as 73% of Scots said they believed prices would go up in the coming year, bolstered by an expected cut in interest rates.

Clydesdale Bank spokesman Steve Reid said: "Buyers are starting 2006 in a more positive mood than last year, when there seemed to be a lot more uncertainty regarding where the housing market was going.

"The market has been showing some encouraging signs of growth in the last few months."

He added: "House prices have been rising, albeit modestly, and the number of mortgage approvals is up.

"Rising house prices now mean buyers are beginning to feel more pressure to offer above the offers-over price.

"More people are looking to buy and so buyers are willing to submit higher bids to see off rivals."

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