Scotland's Housing Market Showing Encouraging Signs Of Activity
Following research conducted by our estate agency teams for the first three months of 2011, we can report positive activity in the residential property market.
Confidence is starting to return to the market with agents across all twelve of our offices providing market appraisals on 40% more properties over the first three months of 2011 against the same period last year.
The number of properties sold or currently under offer is also up 49% for the firm as a whole on this time last year. In addition, there has been an increase in the number of prospective purchasers registering with CKD Galbraith, with over 4,500 actively seeking a wide range of properties throughout the whole of Scotland.
Latest figures from the Registers of Scotland revealed that Scotland's property prices held their value in the final quarter of 2010 with the average house price just over £158,000, an increase of 1.7%.
Prices achieved for all properties sold by the firm during 2010 were on average within 0.5% of the asking price, highlighting the firm’s unrivalled local knowledge of the market and expertise in setting prudent valuations.
Bob Cherry, one of our partners, said: “Our findings have given us good reason to believe that as we enter the main selling season the market looks far more favourable than last year. We have been successful in winning a significant level of new business across all 12 of our offices in Scotland and it is encouraging to see overall transaction levels up by over 49%.
“Buyers are serious about purchasing assuming the property is accurately priced as the market is still very much price sensitive. However, quality properties in good sought after locations are attracting a lot of interest and selling well, with many achieving deals over the asking price. In general we expect prices to remain relatively stable during 2011.
“At the other end of the market, there has been clear evidence of a substantial increase across Scotland for first time buyers ready to purchase with a significant increase over the last year of active buyers in this market registering with us. With the recent announcement of the assisted deposit scheme for first time buyers and an increased appetite to buy from this segment, this will provide a much needed boost for the market as a whole.”
For properties valued above £500,000, cash is often used to secure deals at a good price, enabling the buyers to lock cash in bricks and mortar with no liabilities, a trend experienced by CKD Galbraith. Cash buyers registered on the firm’s advanced marketing database are up by a staggering 72% on last year’s figures.
However, for prospective purchasers requiring a mortgage, latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) indicated that house purchase lending in Scotland in 2010 was typically more affordable than in the UK as a whole. 2010 saw 46,800 loans advanced for house purchase in Scotland, an encouraging figure being only less than 1% down from 2009.
With the mortgage market still unpredictable, supply of funds remains limited and buyers are understandably cautious about taking on extra borrowing. Overall lending forecasts for 2011 are likely to follow a similar level to 2010, with the CML suggesting that gross mortgage lending in 2011 will total around £135 billion. However, over the past few months there has been evidence of increased support and competition from private banks for loans in excess of £1 million.
Throughout 2010 CKD Galbraith sold property in excess £250 million covering the sale of residential, sporting, estates and rural property throughout the whole of Scotland.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of selling or buying a home, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our agents in one of our twelve offices across Scotland.