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Last Updated: Friday, 29 July 2005, 23:20 GMT 00:20 UK
'More caution' in housing market
House sale signs
Bidders seem less happy to chase "offers over" sales
Home buyers in Scotland are now less likely to offer more than 10% over the asking price for a property than they were a year ago, a survey has shown.

The Clydesdale Bank found that those willing to go the extra 10% dropped by more than half - from 32% to 14% - in the last 12 months.

It also found that one in five (19%) wanted the trend for fixed price property sales to become the norm.

This was due to concerns of paying over the odds in a slowing market.

Some people probably feel a switch to fixed prices will help them avoid the temptation to offer too much
Steve Reid
Clydesdale Bank

Steve Reid, Clydesdale Bank's general manager for retail banking, said: "Scotland has enjoyed continued growth in house prices in recent months, although there are signs this is slowing.

"This probably has as much to do with the limits being reached on what people are able to pay as concerns around price levels themselves.

"Some people probably feel a switch to fixed prices will help them avoid the temptation to offer too much."

The bank's study also revealed one in six potential bidders (17%) thought it was unfair Scottish first-time buyers would not directly benefit from Chancellor Gordon Brown's shared equity scheme.

The system is designed to make it easier to get onto the property ladder.


Instead, first-time buyers will have to rely on the Scottish Executive's Homestake scheme, targeting low-income families.

Mr Reid said: "First-time buyers are essential for a healthy housing market, and even though the government's scheme won't help buyers here, some will still benefit from what the Scottish Executive is doing.

"For those who don't qualify for the scheme, the good news is that prices here appear to be slowing and the likelihood is that the Bank of England will reduce interest rates soon, perhaps as early as next week."

The research was conducted on a sample of more than 400 people during June.

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