House prices in Scotland set to increase 4%

The ESPC in George Street. Pic: Ian Rutherford
The ESPC in George Street. Pic: Ian Rutherford
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House prices in Scotland will increase by four per cent next year, a new report predicts.

Continuing demand and lack of supply of property, recent changes to stamp duty and the introduction of the land and building transaction tax will help boost prices, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) 2015 housing forecast.

It also predicts a 2.1 per cent increase in rents north of the border as demand outstrips supply.

Housing experts hope the market will be boosted by the overhaul of the UK stamp duty system announced by Chancellor George Osborne this month.

Anyone buying a home for less than £937,500 will either pay less tax or the same amount under the new rules, the Treasury said.

But the UK system will be replaced in Scotland from April by the land and buildings transaction tax (LBTT), which will impose higher rates on properties at the top end of the market.

Sarah Speirs, director of RICS Scotland, said: “What we need is certainty, clarity and confidence from the Scottish Government to keep us building homes.”