For the three-month period ending 31st March, the firm witnessed healthy sales in Fife and a 73% year-on-year increase in market appraisals however, Galbraith reports this level of trading has been impacted in recent weeks by the coronavirus pandemic.
The average price achieved for property sales over this period was £424,000 which remains steady in comparison to the same quarter last year and it’s at this price range that Galbraith is witnessing an ongoing lack of stock under current market conditions.
George Lorimer, a partner with Galbraith and who leads the sales and lettings team for Fife, said:
As people start adjusting to the new norm, we are now witnessing a level of confidence returning to the Fife property market which in keeping with the rest of the country took quite a big hit at the beginning of lockdown. For the first six weeks of lockdown we had very little stock of new properties for sale in the highly sought after £300,000 - £450,000 price bracket.
What we are finding now is that people are re-engaging across the Kingdom, keen to get their properties ready for marketing once lockdown has been lifted. Advising sellers virtually on the administrative processes and cosmetic jobs that can be carried out now will help strengthen the market with a good level of properties ready to launch.
Galbraith has adjusted to market conditions by embracing a range of new technologies to help provide a comprehensive service to guide clients through such tricky times. Virtual viewings where the seller, agent and buyer share a video call with the seller walking around their house and 360-dregree online property tours have allowed us to continue marketing properties. However, I do think that the majority of buyers like to get a proper feel for a house before they can make the biggest purchase of their life, so we are gearing up for an influx of viewings and new listings once they can be safely conducted.
Online enquires for rural living, nice gardens, and home working spaces, via our website and social media channels have increased, which is no doubt reflective of people reassessing their current work-life balance having put working from home into practice successfully over the past weeks.
Buyers are still active and we are handling the sale of a property which is going to a closing date this week after generating a lot of interest from a number of parties. The level of pent up demand and depth of interest from a range of buyers indicates to us that prices should hold up well and we believe the sales market will bounce back fairly quickly once lockdown has been lifted.
The Cupar office of Galbraith has witnessed strong levels of activity in the lettings sector.
Geoff Laird-Portch, lettings manager in Cupar said:
We have experienced strong levels of demand in the lettings sector with demand outweighing supply and rents remaining strong. This might be as a result of the short-term uncertainty witnessed in the sales market at the start of lockdown however, the Fife lettings market does present an active market year-round. During the imposed restrictions, we have been able to operate a fairly normal service without too much disruption whilst ensuring we adhere to the guidelines and look after our tenants and landlords in a safe manner.
Short term holiday lets have suffered greatly as restrictions have ceased business for the time being. Such landlords may be assessing their options for transferring over to long term residential lets for greater security but on the other hand, if foreign travel restrictions remain in place many people will be keen to get a break and enjoy a staycation later in the year if possible, which would help support the short term segment of the lettings market.
Once lockdown has been lifted, we expect there to be a very quick turn-around in properties once they have been put on the lettings market and believe the market in Fife will return to as normal a picture as is possible, ensuring everyone acts responsibly under any new guidelines imposed.”
The outdoor appeal of the Kingdom of Fife draws many families to the area with quaint coastal villages and seaside locations offering a great work-life balance. The area is a draw not only to Scottish residents buy the rest of the UK as well as attracting an international market with many championship golf courses and market towns including world famous St Andrews.
Currently for sale with Galbraith in Fife:
- 38 Norwood, Newport-on-Tay, Fife, Offers Over £485,000 – an impressive family property in the popular village of Newport. The property boasts exceptional views up the River Tay, an attractive mature garden with summerhouse and a double garage.
- Meadowside, Balmullo, Fife, Offers Over £490,000 – a spacious family house offering generous living space on the edge of the popular village of Balmullo, close to St. Andrews. This detached property offers extensive and flexible accommodation with scope either to operate as a four-bedroom property or a three-bedroom property with a one bedroom self-contained annexe.