Greek crisis. Italian crisis. French banks in crisis. Protestors sitting in cathedrals and not going anywhere. X Factor scandals…
It seems that the focus of our media has been so distracted by potential melt-down, disaster and insipid covers of Ed Sheeran songs that they’ve forgotten to resort to unduly negative stories about the property market to attract readers. For the first time in a long time, therefore, I have very little to rant about this month. Collective sigh of relief…
But that isn’t going to stop me letting you know what we’ve been seeing happening in the Scottish property market in this past month. So here we go…
Surveyors Feel Better About Property Prices This Month
We’ve seen a slight increase in confidence from chartered surveyors about the state of property prices in Scotland. This is actually very important when it comes to what will happen to Scottish property prices, probably more so than in England and Wales. Why?
Well, handily, I wrote about this earlier this month, so if you’re interested in what the RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) Survey said, as well as why this really matters for the property market and property prices in Scotland, just click here (and then remember to come back for the rest of this piece!): Rics Housing Market Survey September 2011
Level of Property Sales in October 2011 Surprising…In a Good Way
In the past month we’ve seen a level of sales activity that has completely surprised me, given the time of year. I’m not saying that October is a bad time of year to sell, quite the opposite (I’ll outline why in the next section). However, the level of sales compared to the amount of people putting their property on the market with us has risen to a quite unusual level.
In other words, we’re selling a lot more, proportionately, than we are putting on the market. Which is great news if you’re a seller. I think that we’ve possibly out-performed the market a little bit in the past month, but if this is indicative in any way of what is happening in the wider Scottish property market, it’s a good sign about the number of buyers in the marketplace.
There is probably an element of people wanting to make sure that their purchase is in time to allow them to move into their new property before Christmas, leading to a bit of a rush for offers in October. So far we’ve seen 24 properties go Under Offer in October. Not bad for a time of year that’s supposed to be slowing down in the run up to Christmas.
Will This Level of Sales Continue into November?
I honestly think so. I came across a graph just the other day that really surprised me.
It tracks property ‘listings’ (i.e. fresh properties coming to the market) against the number of sales, going right back to 2004: Property Market Supply and Demand
What was fascinating was that the number of properties coming to the market peaked and troughed very sharply during the year. However, the number of sales didn’t vary anything like as much. The graph indicated to me that demand for property is relatively consistent from month-to-month, including the run-up to Christmas. There are clearly a lot of property buyers who either want to be in a new property before the year is out or at the very least have purchased their new property before the year is out.
Why Should Property Sellers Not Wait Till 2012 to Try to Sell?
Bearing in mind the statistical evidence of buyer demand being quite consistent throughout the year, that is of course the first argument for not waiting till 2012: we still have two perfectly good months of the year remaining!
There is a perception that this isn’t a good time of year to be selling, hence the large seasonal peaks and troughs in the graph referred to above, with new ‘listings’ dipping dramatically in November and December. I’ve never fully understood where that perception comes from. Particularly in light of the graph and statistics referred to above, if demand remains fairly constant, even during the run-up to Christmas, now is actually a good time to be selling your property. My hope is that sellers will realise this and continue to provide new properties for to satisfy buyers’ desire to buy property at this time of year.
I hope also that our Half Price Home Reports promotion (Now Finished), running till the end of 2011, will provide some stimulus for property sellers to take the plunge and put their property on the market. Even if no amount of statistics and graphs can convince people that this is a good time of year to be selling, I hope that a significant saving on the cost of selling their property might just do the trick and help maintain the supply of properties coming to the market for these buyers.
We are already starting to see the commentators’ predictions for what is going to happen in the property market and to property prices next year. However, since stopping giving Rupert Murdoch’s empire £9.99 per month to access mainly English-centric property stories in The Times, I’m going to be struggling to comment on the headlines that I spotted last week. I’ll collect these up for the next month and have a good look at some of the predictions for what’s going to happen in the property market in 2012 in next month’s property market update, but in the meantime I hope you’ll have a lovely month and thanks for reading!