Monthly Scottish Property Market News and Comment – What’s Happening in the Property Market and Property Prices in Scotland? November 2011

This month’s a bumper month for you lucky readers, as I’m going to be away on holiday at the time when our December property market update would usually be sent out meaning there won’t be a December property market update. Boooooo hooooo, I can hear you scream amid much gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands.  Well, don’t fret, we’re cramming loads into the November edition to keep you going.  This month you’ll get: the property market update for November, Home Reports at Three Years Old – Should They be Scrapped?, what the government’s 95% mortgage scheme to help first time buyers on to the property market means for you in Scotland and why it’s totally bonkers, and finally my predictions for the property market in 2012.  Read on and (hopefully) enjoy!

First the Good News: the Property Market Has Been Very Buoyant in November

We’re not the only ones saying this: the general news that I’ve been hearing from other people in our industry is that they’ve all been having record-breaking Novembers. Not just in terms of sales but also in terms of people putting their properties on the market. November’s traditionally a quiet time for new ‘listings’ (i.e. people putting properties on the market) because a lot of people wait until the new year to put their properties on the market. I’ve been very vocal this year in getting across the message that November and December are, contrary to some popular belief, not bad months to be trying to sell a property.

Our Half Price Home Reports offer, running till the end of 2011, has also given our property sellers some added incentive to put their properties on the market before the end of the year. And the results have been that we’ve been busy listing properties and also busy selling them. But it’s not just us: various people within the industry in Scotland have been surprisingly positive when I’ve been speaking to them about the condition of the property market ‘for this time of year’.

We’re averaging one property sold per day so far this month. That’s on a par with, if not better, than any other time this year. And for not the first month this year we’ve been selling more than we’ve been putting on the market. We really are finding that the problem isn’t the lack of sales but rather a lack of good quality housing stock coming to the market. If you’re got a nice property to put on the market, you know where we are: we want your property to sell, please!

Home Reports Three Years On: Have They Been a Success?

Home Reports have had a tough time since their introduction nearly three years ago. The property industry has almost been universally damning of them. I however think that they’ve been a great success and have actually boosted the property market in the past few, very difficult years. Why and how is this the case? I’ve written another blog post on this and hope that you’ll find it useful:

What has your experience been of Home Reports? Love ’em or hate ’em? Have your say by commenting on the article!

The Government’s Recently Announced First Time Buyer 95% Scheme: How Does it Affect You in Scotland?

The UK Government the other day announced a new scheme to help first time buyers on to the property ladder. Well, that’s what they claim it’s intended to do. It also will hugely benefit house building companies and banks. So, what does this mean for the Scottish property market? I’ll give you a bit of a clue…not a lot! However, if it’s successful down south, perhaps the Scottish Government will look at it and be tempted to try to replicate it.

Helping first time buyers on to the property ladder has to be a good thing, doesn’t it, so I must be 100% behind this initiative? Well, no. I think it’s an absolutely bonkers scheme and that it can only be at the expense of the people that it’s intended to help. Why? For the full article, have a look here:

Predictions for 2012…

It’s not too early for predictions for what will happen in the housing market in 2012 and some others are already getting in on the act. However, in light of my upcoming holiday, I shall have to lay out my predictions quite early and then hope that there isn’t a massive game-changer in the meantime that makes these predictions look rather silly!

I predict that the market will remain flat and that, in fact, property prices will decline across Scotland by around 3-4% for the year. This is broadly in line with the predictions of the likes of the ESPC (Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre).

I feel that demand will remain quite strong for family-type properties, detached, semi-detached or terraced houses with a garden and that values will not drop in this sector.

The first time buyer market will remain tight as funding will not increase and, indeed, may tighten slightly as lenders get a dose of squeaky bum (technical term) at the events in Spain, Italy, Greece (and whoever’s next in the meantime!). There ARE buyers in every sector, including the first time buyer end of the market, and it’s important not to lose sight of this fact in the face of continued negativity in the Press. However, it’s a fact that about half of properties that go on the market will not sell. So it’s important to do everything that you can to ensure that yours is in the half that DOES sell. That includes making it as well-presented as possible, as widely-marketed as possible and advertised in as attractive a way as possible with great photos and a good, proactive estate agent who does that little bit more to sell your property. This could include, for example, ensuring that people calling about other properties that are similar to yours are actually told about your property too, for example through a property matching system with thousands of active buyers on it…we of course have one or I probably wouldn’t have mentioned it!

Happy Christmas and New Year!

Although it feels a bit daft wishing you this in November, I hope that you have a fantastic Christmas and New Year festive holiday period and that you will continue to follow us through 2012. I really look forward to giving you a January 2012 property market update and hope that, meantime, you will enjoy all the dinners, parties and festivities that December has to offer. Best wishes!


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