Alasdair Mackenzie, who heads up the firm's Edinburgh residential department, reviewed the prospects for this year's market at our recent Spring Briefing and reported an increase in activity with a rise in the number of new buyers from the south and abroad.
Alasdair said: "Across all of our 12 offices we have experienced a marked improvement in activity, on the same period last year. Prices are much where they were a year ago and there is still an extreme shortage of decent houses and flats particularly in the 500,000 to 1,000,000 sector however, buyers are more discerning than ever. Over the past year or so, we have seen a gradual increase in confidence and demand particularly for quality properties."
The firm's Edinburgh residential sales department was launched just over two years ago in a very tough market which was to coincide with the introduction of home reports. This has required a re-education for Scottish purchasers and has taken time to establish itself.
Property values reflect the economy. Going forward there is an election looming with tax hikes and government cuts evident. Interest rates are likely to go up and banks remain tight on lending for residential property. With ongoing restructuring within the financial services sector it is very unlikely that there will be an up lift in prices for the foreseeable future according to Alasdair.
As a firm, Alasdair said they are cautiously optimistic about the year ahead for a number of reasons. The stock market has seen a considerable improvement and those buyers who are able to obtain a mortgage can borrow at favourable rates with interest on savings remaining at a historical low level. There are plenty of buyers looking to move, with an increase in new buyers from London, the south and abroad, combined with sellers becoming more realistic in their expectations partly due to the new home report system.
If you would like to discuss residential sales in Edinburgh then please do not hesitate to contact Alasdair.