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Residential Market - CKD Galbraith Commentary Briefing

Rod Christie, partner at CKD Galbraith, gives his thoughts on the 2013 property market and provides predictions for the market during 2014.

2013 overview

  • Steady Improvement throughout 2013. The market in Scotland has steadily improved throughout 2013 and as a firm we arranged over 50% more viewings in the third business quarter than we did over the same period in 2012.
  • However, there are differences across the regions.  The 'central belt', Fife, Borders and Perthshire have experienced much improved markets in 2013 but the north-east, Highlands, west coast and south west have  been slower.   Deeside, Aberdeen and its immediate surrounding area has seen significant rises in terms of transactions and prices.
  • Price sensitive.  More so than ever, properties which the market deems as being over priced have struggled to attract viewers.  Sensible pricing and good quality marketing are imperative.
  • Strong at lower end.  Good quality properties up to 250,000 which are below the higher 3% stamp duty level have fared very well with the market becoming slower as values increase.  Again, this alters on a regional basis with the market for houses up to 500,000 being very strong across the central belt.  The market for high value county houses has been more subdued but in general, we have seen encouraging signs of improvement at all levels as the year continued.
  • Buyers stick to their budget.  We have noticed that purchasers will not actively show interest in anything marketed above their budget and are prepared to hold out for quite some time for a property that matches their criteria.
  • Finance availability is still slow but improving.
  • What sells well?  Traditional farm houses and cottages with land; high quality town houses and flats for example in New Town, Edinburgh; good quality farmland.

2014 Predictions

  • As is the case in general election years, the market may experience a slowdown in the weeks leading up to the Scottish independence referendum in September.  However, once it is behind us, the market is likely to quickly pick up and continue the growth witnessed across many regions throughout 2013.   So far, the referendum has not had a significant impact on the property market. 
  • It is widely regarded that the market for Scottish estates, which to date has been remarkably resilient thought the recession, will continue to grow after the referendum.
  • The market for farmland and good quality arable land in particular will continue to steadily grow throughout 2014. An under supply of good quality arable land will continue as it remains of great appeal to buyers either locally based or from across the UK, looking to expand their holdings and spread fixed costs over a wider area.  Good arable farms of 500 plus acres in the Lothian's, Angus, Fife and Aberdeenshire have been and will continue to be in greatest demand.
  • Weakening cereal prices means marginal quality arable land will be much more price sensitive.
  • Continuation of historically low interest rates and improving economic conditions will see an increase in house building and consequently transactions of development land.  These will initially be limited to the periphery of the larger towns and cities across the central belt and Aberdeen.
  • In general we are likely to see a continuation of 2013 trends with steady growth overall but further polarisation within the market place showing the popular central hot spots of Fife, Perthshire and Edinburgh being favoured over more rural or outlying regions.
  • Edinburgh City Centre will continue to be very strong and in particular the 200,000 and 600,000 residential market.

To talk to a member of our residential team about property sales please get in touch with one of our 14 offices situated throughout Scotland.