Do the Mo-bot, Jessica En-nnnnnnnis, Sir Chris, Bradley the Mod, Ben Ainsleeeeee, Victoriaaaaaaaa Pendleton, Murray’s Mound and of course Big Boris (to make his real nickname a little more family-friendly)…go Team Geeeee Beeeeeeeee!!!!!!! Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhh, sooooooooo exciting!!!!!!!
It wouldn’t be surprising amongst this smorgasbord of sporting triumph that people might have been a bit distracted from the slightly less energetic pursuit of purchasing and selling properties. Or that the Press might have had its work cut out covering 22 channels of HD sports coverage and decided that the property market wasn’t really worth much of its focus. So, in amongst all of this activity, what exactly HAS been happening in the property market in Scotland in the past few weeks? Well, dear reader, I have been paying a bit of attention amongst wondering how horse dancing and BMX are Olympic sports and have the answers for you. So read on!
What is the Press Saying About the Property Market in August 2012?
Mortgage Lending Up –
Total mortgage lending bounced back in July, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. Lending to house buyers and those remortgaging rose by 8% from June to the highest monthly level so far this year (£12.7bn in case you are interested in the specifics). This figure was up 2% from the same month last year. And, honestly, the Council of Mortgage Lenders did cite the Olympics as a factor that might distort figures! Sir Chris crosses the line by a spoke’s-width and people go out and remortgage…okay, they didn’t say THAT. But it’s certainly positive news.
Santander’s Standard Variable Rate Goes Up –
Santander wrote-out to all of their customers in the last few hours to tell them that their Standard Variable Mortgage rate is to rise, come October, from 4.24% to 4.74%. Santander accounts for a very sizeable portion of the UK mortgage market so this is not good news for people who have been sitting on the Standard Variable Rate on the basis that it wasn’t a huge amount higher than rates available for tying-themselves in to a longer-term mortgage product. It’s also not good news for those people whose properties have dropped in value in the past few years to the point where they can’t re-mortgage onto a more attractive rate.
If you are a Santander customer affected by this, please feel free to get in touch with our sister company, MOV8 Financial, Independent Mortgage Advisers to see if there is anything that they can do for you. See www.mov8financial.com, call 0131 522 2802 or email [email protected].
What Have We Been Seeing Happening in the Property Market?
Amongst the Singapore-style humidity afflicting our office, it was a quiet start to the month. This is to be expected and happens every August. School holidays are a large factor in Scotland, of course, in the first half of the month. Add the Olympics to the mix and it’s not surprising that the month didn’t get off to a roaring start. However, to continue with the sporting cliches that I’ve become so fond of through August, it really has been a game of two halves.
Every indicator of market conditions in the first half of the month was very subdued: numbers of new potential buyers being added to our property matching database, numbers of people wanting to put their properties on the market, numbers of sales being agreed. Looking at statistics across the whole marketplace in the same period, it’s clear that the same has been happening in other estate agency firms.
However, around half-way through the month everything came roaring back. And how! Eight offers being received in the space of a few hours, properties selling within a couple of days of going on the market, 12 new clients instructing us to sell their properties in one day, and countless sheets of details to be added into our database for buyers looking for properties throughout East Central Scotland. Flat-out doesn’t quite sum it up.
In terms of property prices, there’s not a huge amount to report. ‘Robust’ is probably a good word. We aren’t seeing prices flying up, nor are we seeing them diving southwards. Stable, steady. And to be honest, that’s been the pattern for the last few months. Long may it continue. There’s a correction happening in the marketplace because of course price stability at a time of inflation means that property is falling gradually in real terms, but as long as prices remain stable people seem to be able to gather deposits and readjust their finances to allocate that bit more of the monthly budget to their mortgage. In a market, if reports are to believed, where rents are increasing across the board, home ownership probably isn’t any less attractive a prospect than it has been for the last wee while.
Now that the Olympic heroics have passed us by, we are looking forward to a very busy September, when the market traditionally picks-up significantly after the summer lull. If you’re looking for any advice about buying or selling a property, please do just give us a shout and we’ll be delighted to help.