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People in Scotland expect house prices to rise

Nearly three in ten of those living in Scotland think that house prices will rise rather than fall in 2012, according to the latest Bank of Scotland Housing Market Confidence tracker. Around 28% of those questioned forecast that house prices across Scotland will increase over the next twelve months, more than the 24% that predict a price decline over the same period.

However, the outlook for the housing market remains subdued. The majority think that any house price movement over the next twelve months will be relatively small with around two-thirds (64%) expecting any movement to be between +5% and -5%.

Over half of those questioned identified concerns about job security (59%) and difficulties in raising a deposit (52%) as the main obstacles to buying a property in Scotland. Respondents also picked out household finances and the general availability of mortgages (both 36%) as major barriers to buying a property.

Over half (57%) of those questioned think that it is currently a good time to buy, almost ten times the proportion thinking that it is a good time to sell (6%).

Perceptions of the Scottish housing market as a better one for buyers than sellers partly reflects the dramatic improvement in home affordability over recent years. Recent research by Bank of Scotland revealed that mortgage payments for a new borrower in Scotland during the second half of 2011 were at their lowest as a proportion of disposable earnings for nine years.