Facts About the Scottish Property Market
Scottish Property Insights
ver the last few months there have been mixed messages in the media with regard to the state of the property market so we thought we would call in the experts to get a full overview of what’s happening. Richard Loudon, Head of Property Sales at Simpson and Marwick gives us his insights and thoughts on the future.
Property statistics are generally based upon statistics from the Registers of Scotland, based on sales registered with the Land Registry.
Inevitably, in most cases it takes many weeks for transactions to settle after an offer has been accepted and then some weeks for the statistics to be issued. This information, therefore, does not necessarily reflect current market experiences.
Reporting in the first Quarter 2012
The most robust statistics for the Edinburgh and surrounding areas’ property market are issued by the Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre (ESPC). The ESPC statistics issued this week, for the first quarter of 2012 show that there is an 11% increase in the number of properties sold from the first quarter last year and that average sale prices are 3% lower than last year. This indicates that sellers are now being more realistic about the price their properties are worth and are accepting market value in order to move on to the next property.
Clients who are moving up-market have finally realised that if their property is worth less, the property they are buying will cost them less and therefore the differential price will be less. This has now created some momentum in the market.
The reality in the market place is that “quality counts”. Having sold properties for over 32 years, when I go to see a property I can instantly tell how well it will sell. The very best properties in any market sector are selling very well. Simpson & Marwick sold one property in April for over 10% above Home Report value, at the closing date and within a week of going to market. It felt like 2007 all over again! Several of our properties have achieved reasonable figures over Home Report value in the last month.
It is fair to say that good properties are selling quite well providing that the seller adopts the right marketing approach. Properties that have a bit of a compromise about them and perhaps only tick 6 out of 10 boxes for buyers need to reduce their price from Home Report value in order to find a buyer, whilst the less appealing properties really are struggling to find a buyer at all.
What will the next few months bring?
The first time buyer market is still difficult because of bank’s lending policies and no urgency for youngsters to get on the property ladder. However, young couples still need to move to houses with gardens as families grow up and job moves all impact our living space. Deaths and separations also create the need for people to buy and sell and I therefore expect that whilst there will continue to be good activity in the market, it will be some years yet until we see any real recovery in prices.
Richard Loudon is the Head of Property Sales at Simpson & Marwick who have dedicated offices in Edinburgh, North Berwick and Aberdeen. In 2011 Simpson & Marwick sold more £s of property than any other ESPC agent.