CHARTERED surveyors say that house prices are likely to rise while demand for property north of the border will remain "steady".

Almost one in four surveyors reported a rise in the number of people looking to buy a home last month, according to the latest Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Scotland (RICS) survey.

However, growth in the property market is being marred by a lack of demand, with many surveyors reporting a decline in new homes for sale coming onto the market.

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The survey found that 46% more chartered surveyors predict prices will rise, rather than fall, over the next three months. It compares with 49% in London, suggesting the recovery in the property market is broadening out from the south into Scotland.

Sarah Speirs, director RICS Scotland, said: "House prices in general look set to remain firmly on the upward trend, however, the critical issue for the market remains the lack of second hand supply, despite a slight increase in April.

"It is too early to conclude whether this will undermine the positive trend in transactions volumes, but clearly the absence of properties to buy will ultimately be a factor in influencing the ability of people to move homes.

"Despite the disappointing trend in instructions, a net balance of 45 per cent of surveyors expect to see sales levels increase as we head into the summer."

Greg Davidson, of Graham & Sibbald in Perth, added: "There have been good activity levels in the early part of 2014 and the rise in transactions is encouraging and a real sign that the residential market is turning a corner."

The latest Registers of Scotland figures show house prices have grown by 3.5 per cent in the last 12 months to stand at an average of £153,352.