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I thought you would be interested to hear my feelings in relation to the first quarter of 2017 as far as the property market is concerned. Whilst there was an uplift in March compared to February’s figures, this is not a consistent uplift across the country, with some areas being higher than 2016 and some areas being lower. I expect, once I see official figures, that overall the numbers will be down by approximately 10%. Most common mantra I am hearing in relation to my residential business, is that “I’m not putting my house on the market until I see somewhere that I want to buy”. I’m noticing an increase in relation to the number of people deciding to stay put and carry out the extension/alteration to their existing property. This lack of activity appears to have been caused by an increase in uncertainty due to the global, European and Scottish issues that are dominating the press. Interestingly, I am already hearing of a couple of commercial developers who have decided against investing in Scotland due to uncertainty caused by Indy2.
The lack of stock is very much causing an increase in prices with the number of closing dates increasing and the right properties in the right areas achieving far in excess of the expected price. I do not think that this is sustainable. I will keep you updated on trends.