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Encouraging Signs In The Highland Property Market

CKD Galbraith has experienced some encouraging signs in the Highland property market over the last quarter and predicts a positive outlook for the year ahead.

Phiddy Robertson, of CKD Galbraith's Inverness office, believes now is a good time to be putting properties on the market prior to the traditional spring selling season and outlines some top tips and expert advice for home owners who may be considering selling their property.

During 2013, the firm as a whole saw an increase of 34 per cent of properties sold, with an average property value of 422,127, which was an increase of 25,250 on the previous year. Prices achieved were on average within 0.5 per cent of the asking price highlighting the firm's expertise in setting accurate property valuations.

The firm has experienced an overall improvement in the Highland property market over the last quarter (Oct Dec 2013) completing twice as many sales compared to the previous quarter of 2013 after a surge in viewings from mid-Nov onwards.

Phiddy Robertson said: "Over the last quarter we have seen an increase in business across all our offices in Scotland and we believe that this is set to continue throughout the spring months. A growing trend in the Highland market was the increasing in the number of closing dates being set due to the level of interest from prospective buyers.

"Most notably our Inverness office has sold a number of properties recently between 500k and 1m and, on the whole, these have moved fairly quickly.  The west coast and second home market continues to be somewhat slow but we believe this will pick up throughout 2014 and are looking forward to a more confident and active Highland property market.

"We would encourage early action this year as the Scottish independence referendum is likely to cause a slight slowdown in the property market in the months leading up to the poll itself, a traditional trend which is experienced in any General Election year.  

"However, there is no doubt that the Government Help to Buy scheme is assisting first time buyers trying to get onto the property ladder and consequently this is helping to revitalise the market. Furthermore, as a firm we don't expect the new mortgage lending rules, set to be introduced in April through the Mortgage Market Review (MMR), to be something to worry about and in fact the Council of Mortgage Lenders predicts that mortgage lending will grow to 195 billion in 2014, up 15 per cent on last year's figures.

"The forecast is bright for those looking to sell in the coming months but selecting an agent with accurate knowledge of the market in order to set a prudent price and give honest advice is of paramount importance."

Preparing your property for the market needs some considerable thought. John Bound, also of CKD Galbraith's Inverness office outlines some expert advice to bear in mind and help your property attract the interest it merits:

  • Price is one of the most decisive factors so keep your eye on the competition. It's imperative to conduct some thorough research of your own to ensure you're well placed in 2014's competitive market.
  • Look at your house objectively and ask yourself what the deciding factors that drew you to the property were. Once the unique selling points of the property have been identified make sure they stand out.
  • It's true that first impressions do count for everything! Buyers have often made up their mind on a house within five minutes, so dressing your house well and making it clear that each room has a function will go a long way to establishing a good impression.
  • It's also important that outside spaces and gardens are well presented and appear as spacious as possible. This counts inside the house as well spend time de-cluttering rather than costly alterations such as a new bathroom.
  • Choose the right agent for you and your property. A good agent will be able to give you realistic advice on the local and national market. Investing in your agent will allow you to reap the rewards with dramatic increases in viewers and getting the best price possible for your property. With this in mind, trust your agent's expertise and try to leave the negotiations to them.
  • Finally, try to keep calm throughout the whole process; a viewer will enjoy visiting a house with a happy atmosphere and an owner who does not seem desperate to sell.

CKD Galbraith Inverness has recently launched local Facebook and Twitter pages providing followers with updates, news and information on the local residential property market. To be the first to know about new properties available for sale and to let in the area like and follow us at facebook.com/CKDGalbraithInverness and twitter.com/inverness_ckdg